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Budget disappoints first home buyers

15 May 13

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says the federal Budget has ignored the plight of many young Australians when it comes to housing affordability.

REIA President Mr Peter Bushby says, "There’s nothing in this Budget for first home buyers. Numbers of first home buyers have plummeted since the First Home Buyer Boost was abolished."

"In May of 2009, 31.4% of all purchasers were first home buyers. The figure from March this year is 14.2%, well below the long term average of 20.2%."

"However, REIA is pleased to see the Government is trialling a program to support age pensioners who want to downsize their homes".

"Under the trial program, eligible pensioners who have lived in their own home for at least 25 years and want to downsize will need to put a minimum of 80% of the excess sale proceeds from the sale of their former home into a special account."

"Those funds will not be counted under the pension income and assets test for up to 10 years or until a withdrawal is made from the account."

"The initiative should lead to better utilisation of existing housing stock."

"However, it is most unfortunate that stamp duty as an impediment to downsizing has again been ignored," added Mr Bushby.

"The Budget has called on the jurisdictions to reform inefficient state taxes including stamp duty. This pays lip service to the need for reform and ignores the leadership role that the Commonwealth should be taking."

"Australians want to own their own homes. They see it as a priority and more needs to be done to assist first home buyers," concluded Mr Bushby.