Brisbane's sales market, property taxes and rates etc

New incentives for 1st home buyers the icing on affordability cake

Young Brisbanites weighing up their first step onto the property ladder have never had as tempting a smorgasbord of opportunity. Prices across inner-Brisbane apartments are, in many spots, back to their lowest in several years and so very affordable compared with other capitals. Those with serious deposits (or generous family kicking the tin) might buy a house, but for the vast majority an apartment is the perfect choice, often staying in the $300,000 to $500,000 range and, very importantly, the inner-Brisbane lifestyle they crave.

Record low interest rates look set to drop even further AND now all three levels of government are about to hand out incentives for first home buyers. Seriously – what more could you want?! Here’s some of the details:

Saving for a deposit can be the biggest challenge and the federal government’s about to lend a hand – for just 10,000 Aussie first home buyers! Provided you have 5% ScoMo will give the bank assurance you’re good for 20%. You’ll be borrowing 95% but because the lender has greater security you won’t need mortgage insurance. And on a $500,000 purchase that premium saving is a whopping $17,000 in one example.

This incentive kicks off on January 1st and in a fairly average month there can be upwards of 8,000 first time buyers. So it’s likely to be a short-lived opportunity! The legislation is still making its way through parliament and it’s expected there’ll be some hurdles you need to jump (eg: maximum taxable incomes up to $125,000 pa for singles and $200,000 pa for couples) so keep an eye on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme website.

incentives for 1st home buyersWe rarely hear of City Councils doing their bit to give first home buyers a leg up, so Brisbane’s new rates discount will be warmly welcomed. From October 1st Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner will be giving you a 50% saving (up to $1000) on your first year’s bill. The criteria for their First Home Owners Rates Remission scheme are pleasingly simple and, while it’s not a truckload of money, it’s terrific to have BCC lend a hand – and acknowledge the importance of first home buyers to this city’s economy.

The state government gorges on the property market, gobbling up huge revenues in stamp duties and land tax. But it does help with incentives for 1st home buyers. Those buying brand new can usually access a $15,000 handout, and eligible first time buyers get a deal on stamp duty for all real estate, paying nothing on homes up to $500,000 and lower rates up to $550,000. The savings can add up to $15,925.

Many of the apartments you look at will be rented and you’ll be unable to move in immediately. There are rules on time limits when you’ll need to call it home yourself, but that won’t disqualify you from the stamp duty savings.

There’s lots of ways the Bank of Mum and Dad can give their kids a helping hand into home ownership. But we can’t remember a time when all three levels of government were giving incentives for 1st home buyers. Combine this with the lowest cost of borrowing money we’ve ever seen and Brisbane apartment prices at the bottom of the cycle. It’s a rare opportunity for young Brisbanites to take a leap and buy their own home.