The boost to the First Home Owner grant was an important part of the government response to the GFC in 2009 and there’s no doubt it kept that sector of the market moving. The boost finished but the grant remains at $7,000.
During this recent election campaign the Real Estate Institute of Australia was pushing for the grant to be permanently upped to $15,000, noting that a decade’s passed since the amount was set and in that time Australia’s median house prices have jumped from $220,000 to $519,000. So when introduced the grant was 3.2% of a home price and is now 1.5%.
The other idea the Institute has been running is for first home buyers to be able to access their voluntary superannuation (not employer contributed funds) to buy a home.
“The REIA proposes that a scheme be established which would encourage young Australians to contribute to voluntary superannuation by allowing access to these resources for the purposes of raising a deposit for a first home. The scheme would be an adjunct to the First Home Savers Account but would allow flexibility for the saver to decide whether all or part of the voluntary superannuation payments was needed to augment the home purchase.”
We remember visiting pollies in the mid 1990’s as part of an Institute push for policy change for a similar idea back then. Nothing changed and from what we can tell neither of the major parties have had much time for this idea now.
We’re not sure how many buyers would take advantage of it, but to have a great tax vehicle like super as the place to save for your home seems a great idea.