Challenge for Hobart first-home buyers to qualify for incentive scheme


Hobart’s median dwelling price has hit more than $474,000. Picture: PATRICK GEE

FIRST-HOME buyers in Hobart will be hard-pressed to take advantage of the Federal Government-backed incentive available from this month because of a shortage of new-home options under the $400,000 cap.

The $500 million First Loan Deposit Scheme, which came into effect on January 1, has been introduced in an effort to address declining housing affordability.

It allows up to 10,000 first-home buyers to purchase a property with just 5 per cent deposit, with the remainder guaranteed by the Federal Government.

The scheme is only applicable on properties valued up to $400,000 in Hobart and $300,000 in rural Tasmanian areas, which Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Mandy Welling said limited buyers in an already tight market.

“While there might be more purchasers trying to break into the market given the incentives available, there’s obvious strain on the market for property priced at $400,000 or less,” she said.

“We have serious supply and demand issues. One glaringly obvious hurdle is the planning departments within local councils. We’re seeing a lot of developers trying to bring properties to market, only to be held up by red tape.”

Hobart aerial

Hobart’s median dwelling price has hit more than $474,000, making it difficult for first-home buyers to qualify for a new incentive scheme.

Hobart’s median dwelling price hit $474,186 in the 12 months to December 31, according to CoreLogic RPData figures.

During the same period, the value of dwellings in regional Tasmania increased by 6.1 per cent to a record high of $308,202.

The loan scheme — means-tested for singles earning up to $125,000 a year or couples earning a combined $200,000 a year — is in addition to the extended Tasmanian State Government’s $20,000 first-home buyer incentive, which is available for eligible applicants who buy or build a new home.

Almost 300 Tasmanian first-home buyers applied for and received the $20,000 incentive in the five months to the end of November, according to the State Revenue Office. That compares to the 625 first-home buyers who received the grant in the 2018-19 financial year.



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