Home owner grant cap increased

FIRST-TIIME home buyers will be one step closer to buying their dream home after the New South Wales Government announced the First Home Owner Grant cap will be increased to $835,000 from January 1.

The $835,000 cap applies to all applications where the commencement date of the eligible transaction is on or after January 1, 2011.

The commencement date of the eligible transaction is the date of the contract to purchase or build a home or, for a builder, the date the foundations commenced to be laid.

LJ Hooker Coolangatta principal Anna Guillesser said the Christmas and New Year holiday period is a great time for first-time house hunters to scour the market and get a great buy.

“Definitely prices have never been as affordable in the past three years, and this presents a great opportunity for first-home buyers,” Ms Guillesser said.

“My advice is to do your research and ask the agent for a sale history on similar homes that have sold so you can compare apples with apples, and identify properties what have sold for and not compare on asking price.

“Between Christmas and New Year is a great time to look for a home. There are strong signs that there will also be an abundance of fresh stock in the property market early next year. ”

North Estate Agents principal Mark Humphries said any kind of incentive will motivate potential buyers to explore the market.

“Anything the government does to stimulate the market will show an increase in first-time buyers,” Mr Humphries said.

“First-time buyers have previously been non-existent in the market place.”

Mr Humphries said the first-home owner grant cap interest will encourage Tweed residents who may not have previously looked at buying a new home to explore the real estate market.

“Any increase like this will encourage people to start looking for their first home,” Mr Humphries said.

Applicants who purchase or build a home which has a total value of more than $835,000 are not eligible for the grant. The previous cap of $750,000 still applies where the eligible transaction commencement date falls between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2010.

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