RT News

Thursday, December 17, 2015

NSW budget 2015: Government ‘greedy’ for not helping first home buyers

The State Government has been branded “greedy” for not sharing its bumper $7.2 billion stamp duty haul with Sydney first-home buyers, with the Premier and Treasurer labelled “out of touch”. Stamp duty revenue was $1.2 billion more than budget forecasts, and forward estimates indicate a further $32 billion will be collected over the next four years. First home buyers have once again been left out in the cold despite property being the biggest contributor to the NSW economy.” The budget also contained no new financial incentives for first-home buyers, despite a 13.1 per cent surge in Sydney property pricesover the past year. In contrast to last year’s budget, the threshold of $750,000 for the First Home Owner Grant – which only applies to new properties – was not lifted. Mr Gunning was disappointed that the first home buyer grant for existing property was not reintroduced, saying this “highlights that the Treasurer and Premier are out of touch with the market”. Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian told Domain that increasing supply would be more advantageous for first home buyers than lifting the threshold for the $15,000 grant. “The worst thing we can do is put any more heat in the market,” she said. “Our lever is supply, and that’s why we’re producing more dwellings.” Ms Berejiklian said 8000 people received the First Home Owner Grant for new properties last year – an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year. However, the Real Estate Institute’s Mr Gunning said most first home buyers were in the market for existing properties. He said the State Government had chosen to “ignore … stamp duty bracket creep, which adds thousands of dollars to property transactions”. Mr Gunning said the government was misguided in its view that a cut to stamp duty rates, which had been left untouched for 30 years, would worsen Sydney’s affordability crisis. “Lower volumes drive higher property prices, while higher volumes slow the market and improve affordability,” he said. The government should also look at creating incentives for people to relocate from Sydney to regional NSW in the form of stamp duty concessions and job creation, he said.

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