First home buyers need help, not a noose

The State Government needs to encourage South Australian first home buyers in the next Budget if the State is to regain its reputation as an affordable state, Master Builders SA says.

Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the number of first home buyers looking to finance homes has remained relatively unchanged since the end of 2009. In contrast, the number of investor loans has increased steadily, leaving first home buyers with more competition and less reason to invest in the State, Master Builders SA Chief Executive Officer Ian Markos says.

“South Australia used to trade on its reputation as an affordable State for home owners, but it’s clear our most vulnerable buyers no longer see it the same way,” he said.

“We are spending more than a quarter of our incomes on housing costs, about on par with the amount spent in Queensland and only behind New South Wales and Victoria.

 “But we need to give people reasons to stay and build a life in our State, not reasons to leave.”

Tax reform remains a key element to improving affordability. Mr Markos said South Australia should match the Victorian initiative of stamp duty exemptions for first home buyers up to the median house price in the next Budget as a means of remaining competitive and compassionate.

“First home buyers are forced to borrow to pay a State tax, and are then forced to pay that tax back over 30 years,” Mr Markos said.

“An $18,000 tax bill turns into a $60,000 noose – all for the crime of committing to the housing market.

“Cutting red and green tape attached to new homes would also give our young South Australians fewer objections to committing to the State.

“Housing affordability may be a national problem, but we need a local solution.”

This release is can be downloaded as a PDF here.