The latest approval figures for home buyer finance have shown tax relief measures announced in the State Budget are paying off for first homebuyers.
Treasurer Eric Ripper said the doubling of the exemption threshold for first homebuyers meant that Western Australians making their first step into the real estate market were big winners.
The latest banking statistics showed a dramatic increase in first homebuyer activity, with the proportion of total finance approvals increasing from 20 per cent in the March Quarter 07, to 24 per cent in the June Quarter 07.
“That’s a big increase of four per cent, showing that the first homebuyer market has responded very positively to the tax package provided by the State Government in the May Budget,” Mr Ripper said.
“The doubling of the stamp duty exemption thresholds at a time when housing market indicators suggested some moderation in activity has reduced the likelihood of the benefit being swallowed up in higher prices.
“A first homebuyer purchasing a $500,000 property is now saving $20,700.”
In the past 12 months, the Government has provided an exemption or concession to 6,307 first homebuyers worth $42.3million.
The Treasurer said there had been a significant increase in First Home Owner Grant applications since the release of the 2007-08 Budget, with the Office of State Revenue recording 1,345 in May, 1,514 in June and 1,834 in July 2007.
“This is well up on the monthly average of 1,059 over the first 10 months of 2006-07 and compares favourably to the monthly average of 1,437 since the inception of the first home owners grant,” he said.
“The State Government’s package, worth $2.1billion over the next four years, included stamp duty cuts for first homebuyers, which are the most generous in the nation.
“The success of the stamp duty relief demonstrates the Government’s commitment to assisting people into home ownership and addressing declining housing affordability.”
The 2006-07 State Budget increased the exemption from $250,000 to $500,000 for a home, and from $150,000 to $300,000 for the purchase of a vacant block.
Treasurer's office - 9222 8788