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REIQ calls for an extension to ...

REIQ calls for an extension to First Home Owner's grant

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has called for the First Home Owner's grant to be extended to established homes.

According to the organisation, the grant is good for first home buyers but has only provided limited support where it is needed most, which is the established housing market in Queensland. 

Chief executive officer of REIQ Antonia Mercorella emphasised the fact that as a tool to help first-home buyers get onto the property ladder for the first time, the grant is a very welcome and important one. 

However, he suggested that if it were to be expanded, then it could help to reverse adverse trends in some aspects of Queensland's property market. 

"Areas in regional Queensland, such as South Mackay and Blacks Beach have lost 30 per cent off the value of property over five years," he commented, noting that this was highlighted in the Queensland Market Monitor June report from his company. 

"These markets have a surplus of housing, established homes and there is no need to build more housing - but to qualify for the government's grant, homeowners are forced to build," Mr Mercorella continued. 

He described this process as inefficient and potentially damaging if left unchecked but argued that the solution is potentially a very simple one. 

By simply broadening the grant to include established homes, Mr Mercorella said first time homebuyers in regional Queensland will be alleviated from the same pressures of saving up for a deposit that those in other parts of the state are faced with. 

"Let's help them get into the market with a $20,000 grant," he remarked, adding that this would also help the wider residential property market. 

A total of 4,284 grants were accessed in regional Queensland from its introduction in 2012 until June 30, 2016, which equates to 1,071 grants per year. 

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