05 February 2009

Western Australian first home buyers best off for grants

Of all the Australian states, Western Australia is reported to give its residents the best returns from the government when buying a home for the first time, reports WA Business News.

First home buyers in Australia receive an incentive from the government to purchase, which is administered by the state governments.  According to figures, Western Australian first home buyers are better off than any other state.

Victorians receive a $17,000 grant towards their first purchase, yet after fees and stamp duties have been applied the real figure ends up at around $6,000, which is 2.2 per cent of the average property value of $275,000.

However, Western Australian residents receive $14,000 plus a $2,000 first home buyers assistance account, taking the net assistance to $15,740.  This is 5.4 per cent of the average price of a home in the state, which is currently $290,000.

In Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, there is no stamp duty on the purchase of a new house for first home buyers, if the property is valued less than half a million dollars.

Despite the economic downturn, Perth residents have reportedly kept the housing market alive, with land sales jumping 28.5 per cent in the December quarter last year. 

"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," said Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Debra Goostrey.

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

The housing construction industry is also predicting an increase of 22 per cent in activity over the next six to twelve months, which defies the national trend of a slowdown in demand.

Perth has long been an attractive city for people emigrating to Australia; its demographics show that British ancestry largely dominate the 2 million-strong population, with the biggest ancestry groups being English, followed by "Australian", Irish, Scottish, Italian and Chinese. 

As Australia continues to let record numbers of people move to Australia and Perth, the housing industry should continue to reap the benefits, despite at times having pressure to keep up with the constant flow of arrivals. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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