03/03/2015 - 16:33

New home sweeteners

03/03/2015 - 16:33

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Developers and builders are offering incentives over and above the state government’s first home buyers grant to stoke the market, as the number of grants paid falls to its lowest level in nearly two and a half years.

New home sweeteners
INCENTIVE: Builders are going to great lengths to get people into new homes. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Developers and builders are offering incentives over and above the state government’s first home buyers grant to stoke the market, as the number of grants paid falls to its lowest level in nearly two and a half years.

First-time buyers in Western Australia can choose between a $10,000 grant, available for the construction of new homes, and a $3,000 incentive to purchase an existing house.

But data from the Department of Treasury showed while grants for new construction had been increasing since the incentives were changed in September 2013 to encourage new builds, the total number of grants paid was trending down.

In January, 1,441 grants were paid, down significantly from the two-year peak of 1,969 in October 2013.

In 2014, 19,289 grants were paid out, for a monthly average of 1,607, down from 20,441 in 2013.

The highest monthly level of first home buyer grants paid was 2,403 in May 2009, when there was up to $21,000 available for first-time buyers who elected to build new homes.

Even though WA was still performing well in relation to other states (see graphic), developers and builders are now going to great lengths to help ease the transition from the rental market to home ownership.

In December, the state’s largest land developer, Satterley Property Group, began offering a $10,000 construction rebate for the first 85 buyers at its Allara at Eglington estate, which is a joint venture with state government agency LandCorp.

The only condition to qualify for the rebate, along with being one of the first purchasers in the estate, was that a slab had to be down on the block within nine months of settlement.

Along with the rebate, Satterley also offered sustainability incentives worth up to $4,600 per home, including a $2,000 rebate for solar power, $500 towards LED lighting, a $1,000 security system and a smart technology thermostat that learns a family’s movements to maximise savings on heating and cooling.

Satterley also launched another cash-back offer in January, this time offering a $7,000 rebate to buyers interested in purchasing one of 90 home sites across its Heron Park, Honeywood, Austin Lakes, Dalyellup Beach, Eden Beach and Provence estates.

That offer will run until March 2.

Summit Homes subsidiary Easystart Homes, which is targeted at entry-level buyers, is also offering potential purchasers significant incentives packages.

Buyers with Easystart can choose between three options; a furniture package including dining, bedroom and home theatre furnishings; electrical appliances, including televisions, a dishwasher, a refrigerator and laundry appliances; and premium upgrades, which include high ceilings, stone benchtops, air-conditioning, paint, floor coverings and window treatments.

The latest incentive to hit the market is from Nicheliving, which recently began offering qualified buyers up to six months of free rent, up to a maximum of $400 per week.

Nicheliving director of sales, marketing and acquisitions, Ronnie Elhaj said the product was specifically designed to ease the burden on potential homebuyers who were struggling to save a deposit while renting.

“Recent data shows that, on average, it takes many Australians up to four years to save for their first home deposit,” Mr Elhaj said.

“With this in mind, our new six month free rent assistance program has been specifically designed to address this issue.”

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