State ‘interested’ in paying for quarter of your first home
THE Queensland government has expressed interest in a pilot program that will pay for a quarter of the cost of first homes to beat housing affordability woes.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad told The Courier-Mail that Queensland would track the outcomes of the Victorian government's HomesVIC shared equity scheme - an initiative that industry watchers believe deserves widespread adoption.
"We are always interested in new ways to make housing more affordable for Queenslanders. I understand that the Victorian initiative is a pilot program, so we will be interested to see the outcomes and to look at any future potential for Queensland."
HomesVIC announced yesterday that applications would open shortly for the groundbreaking scheme - which will see 400 first home buyers in Victoria have up to 25 per cent of the cost of their new home paid for by the state.
The Housing Industry Association praised the initiative as one that all states and territories should look at adopting to address housing affordability.
HIA chief executive industry policy Kristin Brookfield said the scheme was currently not available in Queensland but should be.
"It is a positive scheme that addresses the rising problem of housing affordability and will help see young people achieve the Aussie dream of owning their own home faster," she said.
"Victoria also has a stamp duty concession and also a First Home Buyer grant so this is the third piece of the puzzle. I think it's something that should be considered in Queensland."
Ms Trad said the Palaszczuk Government's First Home Owner's Grant was "hugely successful in supporting people to enter the housing market with more than 10,000 first home owners receiving grants in the last 18 months".
The way the pilot program works, according to HomesVIC, was that the state would take "a proportional interest of up to 25 per cent in the property, and eligibility will target applicants with incomes of up to $75,000 for singles, or up to $95,000 for couples or families".
"Buyers will need to have a 5 per cent deposit. When the properties are sold, participating buyers will pay the proportional interest, which the Government will reinvest in other homes."
The scheme was for first time buyers that don't qualify for public housing, it said.
"It's certainly a very good move to look at different ways to help first home buyers," Ms Brookfield said. "With the price of houses now, these sorts of initiatives help."
She said ACT had the Landrent scheme which wiped almost 50 per cent off the cost of a new home by allowing buyers to only fund home construction and pay rent for the land. Perth's Keystart had low deposit requirements and assistance for a person's first home.
"They are all slightly different but heading in a similar direction," she said.
"It is still a good start and we will watch its progress with keen interest."