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The first home owner grant in WA unfairly penalises buyers wanting to enter the established market, the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has said, by only providing assistance to those who choose to build a new build home.
President Hayden Groves said that first home buyers who wanted to buy an established home were being discriminated against, and as a result they are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the WA property market.
“Housing affordability remains a significant issue for many West Australians." Mr Groves said. "We should be making it easier for all first home buyers to enter the market, not just those who choose to build their home.”
“The way the grant currently stands is skewing activity to the new build sector only and disadvantaging those first home buyers who want to purchase an established property.
“The state government’s priority for Metronet and infill development around transport hubs is not supported by the continual focus on new builds, which is growing’s urban sprawl footprint.”
Mr Groves also said that, as part of its 2017-18 state budget submission, REIWA will propose the state government reintroduce a $3,000 first home owner grant to eligible first home buyers to purchase an established residential dwelling.
He said doing so would lead to increased activity levels across the entire WA property market, particularly in the trade-up sector.
“Increasing the demand for established housing," Mr Groves said, "will have a knock-on effect to other areas of the market, allowing more WA households to ‘right size’ into accommodation that suits their changing needs.
“More importantly, higher levels of activity in the established residential property market will mean more transfer duty revenue for the state government.”
Mr Groves said that any policy which leads to revenue generation should be given real consideration, especially since state finances are going through a period of decline.