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The Tasmanian government has announced it will double the First Home Builder Boost to dramatically stimulate first home buyer and construction activity.
The grant for first home owners who choose to buy or build a brand new home will be increased from $15,000 to $30,000 and is effective immediately.
Ms Giddings said the take-up for the grant, which was increased from $7,000 last year, had been slower than expected.
“It was always expected that applications would accelerate over time, but we recognise the need to create jobs right now,” Ms Giddings said.
“Builders have told us there has been a lot of interest from people wanting to build their first home, but they needed more time to accumulate a deposit.
“That is why we have taken the decision to turbo-charge the incentive for people to build their first home, effectively paying the cost of a deposit on an average new home build.
“With record low interest rates, affordable house and land packages and now a $30,000 down payment from the state government, there has never been a better time to build a home.”
The scheme will run until December 2014. Ms Giddings said by limiting the incentive for a short period, it was hoped there would be an uplift in building activity, which would create jobs.
“I would encourage anyone who has been thinking about building or even buying a new home off-the-plan to think seriously about taking advantage of this offer," she said.
Ms Giddings said the grant was now the most generous in the nation, particularly when taking into account Tasmania’s housing affordability.
“Tasmania already offers a lifestyle that is second to none, and it is now amongst the cheapest places in the country to realise the great Australian dream of building a new home.
“The average cost of constructing a first home in Tasmania was around $234,000 in 2012/2013, and this grant will make building an even more attractive proposition,” she said.
LJ Hooker’s Tasmanian regional manager and head of LJ Hooker Home Loans Paul O’Regan applauded the new changes.
“For first home buyers in the $350,000 and $400,000 price bracket, the grant covers the normal minimum five per cent deposit required by lenders, as well as a significant portion of the further start-up costs like government stamp duty,” he said.
Last month, LJ Hooker released its white paper First Home Buyers; a dynamic and changing market, which revealed 1,800 potential first home buyers in Tasmania were expected to enter the first home buyer market in 2014.
This forecast state figure is up 23 per cent compared with the previous 12 months when there were 1,464, first home buyers in Tasmania.
However, the predicted number of Tasmanian first home buyers is now expected to surge even further with the doubling of the new grant, Mr O’Regan said.