The WA Labor Government Has Cut Short A Temporary Boost To The First Home Owner Grant In A Desperate Bid To Rein In The State’s Dire Financial Position.

Treasurer and Finance Minister Ben Wyatt says the increase in the first home owner grant, imposed by the former Liberal Government before it lost office in March, will end six months early as the government takes steps to improve the state’s bottom line.

The boost, announced in December 2016, increased the first home owner grant from $10,000 to $15,000 on purchases of new homes. It had been scheduled to cease on December 31, but instead it will end on June 30, 2017.

From July 1, first home buyers purchasing or constructing a new home will be eligible for the $10,000 first home owner grant.

“The boost is not an effective mechanism for stimulating additional construction of homes and given the disastrous state of the finances which we have inherited, we need to remove any ineffective spending.

“Ceasing the boost early will allow the State Government to fund higher priority areas while ensuring Western Australian first home buyers continue to be eligible for generous Government assistance.

“This action represents another $20 million saved over the forward estimates. It’s another step towards budget repair,” Wyatt says.

Property Council of WA executive director Lino Iacomella says the announcement was a shock.

“It is disappointing that it is going to finish early.

“It did give the market a spurt early in the year and had the intended impact at that time. Stopping it early will mean that the recovery in the housing market will now require other things to keep it going… like job creation and other economic drivers.

“It’s important now that government moves on doing other things to deal with the problem of housing affordability, which in Perth is all about increasing the supply of medium and high-density housing so people have more choice,” Iacomella says.

First home buyers will continue to be eligible for the $5000 boost payment if they enter into a contract to purchase or build a new home before June 30. Owner builders also remain eligible if they start laying foundations before that date.

The boost payment applies to new homes up to the value of $750,000 (or up to $1 million if the home is located north of the 26th parallel).


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