8 November 2018
REGIONAL builders say demand for new homes is waning as the loss of the $5K Boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant pushes home ownership out of reach.
The First Home Owners' Grant, a Queensland Government initiative, was discounted from June 30 from $20,000 to $15,000 in the 2018-19 budget.
Bundaberg-based JRZ Homes Owner, Jesse Zielke said the loss of the $5,000 Boost was “a big hit to our business and the industry as a whole.”
“The Royal Commission into the banking sector made lending difficult to secure. The $5,000 less deposit for first home buyers has made it harder again…the $15,000 just isn’t getting enough people across the line to build,” Mr Zielke said.
Cairns-based company, Value Homes is in a similar situation, with Sales/ Home Design Consultant, Chris Rhodes describing the loss of the Boost as a “tough blow” that “turned off the tap on the building and construction industry in the region”.
Gympie-based Hotondo Homes Owner/ Director Chris Dodt said without the Boost, “people are choosing to rent over building”. Brad Evans, Director of Gemini Homes in Mackay said it’s having an “enormous impact” on his business and they are “surviving on the hope” that it will return.
The hurt is also being felt in Central Queensland, with Chris Warren Homes owner, Chris Warren stating the building industry in region was “really struggling” with the loss.
“Earlier this year, it looked like things were going to turn around a little, but losing the $5,000 First Home Owners’ Boost off the top of the Grant hurt,” Mr Warren said.
“We will more than likely need to let a couple of our staff go if our workload doesn’t pick up in other areas to make up for the loss of clients from the first home owners market.”
That’s why Master Builders is calling on the government to bring back the $5,000 Boost for regional Queensland.
Master Builders Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell said the Queensland Government was currently deciding how they would spend the surging mining royalties’ windfall meaning now was the perfect time to bring back the $5,000 Boost.
“Bringing back the Boost to regional Queensland gives first home buyer’s further assistance to enter the housing market. It acts as a pre-emptive measure to ensure building activity in regional Queensland doesn’t suffer further because the Boost has ended,” Mr Bidwell said.
“Building new homes builds communities, creates jobs and delivers economic growth where it’s needed most. When you champion the building and construction industry, everyone gets a helping hand from your local coffee shop to hardware stores.”
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