05/02/2009 - 12:47

WA best for first home buyers

05/02/2009 - 12:47

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More good news for the state's property sector as new analysis reveals first home buyers in WA receive more in government incentives than any other state or territory, while quarter-on-quarter land sales in Perth jump 29 per cent.

WA best for first home buyers

More good news for the state's property sector as new analysis reveals first home buyers in WA receive more in government incentives than any other state or territory, while quarter-on-quarter land sales in Perth jump 29 per cent.

According to figures released by the Our Home Sweet Home website, Victorians fared the worst in the government incentive stakes, despite receiving maximum federal and state government help.

Victorians receive $17,000, however after state stamp duty and other fees, net assistance is slashed back to just $5,992.

This represents about 2.2 per cent of the average property value of $275,000.

By contrast, WA first home buyers receive about $14,000 in grants but because there is also a $2,000 first home buyers assistance account, the net assistance balloons to $15,740.

In WA this is 5.4 per cent of the average property value of $290,000.

Northern Territory home seekers get the second-best percentage leg-up, followed by those in New South Wales, the ACT, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria.

In WA, NSW and Queensland there is no stamp duty for first home buyers on houses priced up to $500,000.

"Unless governments maintain and extend their current stance in respect to support for the first home buyer, many will struggle to pull together the funds," said Peter Boehm from Our Home Sweet Home.

The website figures relate to people buying existing homes.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last year trebled the first home owners grant to $21,000 for purchases of newly-built homes.

Meantime, first home buyers are keeping the state's housing sector alive with land sales in Perth jumping 28.5 per cent during the December quarter, according to latest figures from Urban Development Institute of Australia.

"First home buyers are keeping the market alive in WA," UDIA chief executive Debra Goostrey said.

"These figures clearly prove what we have been saying - the boost to the First Home Owners Grant announced in mid October has had a positive impact on that sector of the market.

"Given that the quarter includes the very slow start to October prior to the boost, the figures are an outstanding result."

The average price of lots during the quarter was $226,069.

"The average price is down on previous quarters due to the volume of sales occurring at the lower end of the market," Ms Goostrey said.

Most sales occurred in Wanneroo, Swan and Armadale, where the average price is around $220,000.

The cheapest area to buy was Kwinana with an average sale price of $184,687.

Construction activity is also up according to the figures, with a 22% increase in the number of lots
expected to be ready for release in the next 6 to 12 months.

"The increase in construction activity is a good indication of the industry's confidence in the improvement of the market by the end of this year," Ms Goostrey said.

"With the official cash rate down to 3.25% and the possibility of a further cut down the track we should see continued improvement in the market during 2009," Ms Goostrey said.

Yesterday, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show total building approvals in WA rose 12 per cent in December, bucking the national trend which declined for its sixth consecutive month.

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