The Queensland government has recently implemented a significant boost to its First Home Owner Grant, branding it as a “cost of living boost” for aspiring homeowners.
This initiative sees a substantial increase in the grant from $15,000 to $30,000, a move anticipated to benefit approximately 12,000 first-time home buyers before the offer expires in June 2025. This adjustment aligns Queensland with Tasmania, where a similar scheme also offers a $30,000 grant, while other states such as New South Wales and Victoria provide $10,000.
The extended grant encompasses various property types, including modular and prefabricated homes, granny flats situated on a relative’s land, or homes within a manufactured home park. Notably, it exclusively applies to new houses, units, and townhouses, covering both off-the-plan acquisitions and self-built properties. However, existing properties are ineligible, and the grant is applicable only to properties and land valued at less than $750,000.
Despite the positive reception of the grant increase by some, criticisms have arisen in light of the estimated 30% surge in construction costs following the pandemic. According to April 2022 figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average cost of building a home stands at approximately $473,000, with variations across states. Residential land in South-East Queensland is estimated to have a median settlement value ranging from $248,295 to $345,000 this year.
Taking these facts into consideration, it may therefore be difficult to remain under a $750,000 cap.
With completion times for houses varying between six and eighteen months in Queensland, many first-time buyers will need to navigate the challenges of paying rent in addition to land and build costs during the construction period.
Walshs welcomes the improved First Home Owner grant. “This will be a helpful tool for first home buyers broadly in the community and especially those based in regional areas” notes Walshs Director Peter Hodgson. “We would remind clients to consider the quality and location of their real estate holdings, particularly for those clients who are based in South East Queensland. We always recommend speaking to your adviser to ensure you’re making the best overall financial decision that may include government benefits like this First Home Owner Grant, but also long term, proven property strategies”.
Walshs’ wholistic support in this area aims to alleviate the financial pressures of clients who are first home buyers, considering factors such as interest rates and the rising cost of living as well as individual financial circumstances.
To speak to somone on our team about buying your first property, call 07 3221 5677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘First Home Buyer’ in the subject line.