The Queensland Government has doubled the state’s First Home Owner Grant but a property expert warns the offer may not be as good as it first appears.
From today, eligible first home buyers will be able to access the $30,000 First Home Owner Grant, up from $15,000 previously.
The increase means Queenslanders will have access to the equal highest First Home Owner Grant in Australia, triple the grants available in New South Wales and Victoria.
The Palaszczuk Government said doubling the grant will support about 12,000 buyers unlock the door to their first home by June 30, 2025, when the boost will expire.
“I know how much cost of living is impacting Queenslanders, especially first home buyers,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Our government is committed to easing these pressures by delivering the largest cost of living relief package anywhere in the nation.
“I want to see home ownership rates continue to rise, which is why our government is stepping up to lend a helping hand.
“The existing first home owner grant has been very successful, which is why our government is doubling the grant program – meaning eligible first home buyers will receive $30,000 cashback.
“I hope this puts the dream of owning a first home within reach of more Queenslanders.”
But Propertyology Head of Research Simon Pressley said the State Government’s doubling of the grant was “misleading”.
“Yet again, this policy does nothing to address core needs and challenges of buyers, owners or renters,” he said.
“The policy is designed to support developers while recklessly hoping to steer gullible people into making an inferior choice for one of their most important life decisions.
“The ‘help’ is only for the purchase of brand new properties with a price tag up to $750,000.”
Other eligibility criteria include that the home must not have been lived in or sold as a place of residence at the time of completion.
It must also be a transaction for either a new home, an off-the-plan purchase, a substantial renovation, a contract to build or an owner-builder.
The property can be a house, unit, duplex or townhouse or a granny flat built on a relative’s land.
“When someone is in the market to buy a property, they should ‘always’ be encouraged to make a well-informed decision by reviewing 100 per cent of their options,” Mr Pressley said.
“That means established properties (98 per cent of total stock) plus the new-builds (2 per cent).
“Placing a piece of cheese on a plank to remove the focus away from 98 per cent of the options is a calculated trap.
“It’s a bloody reckless policy.
“If governments really want to help homebuyers, provide the grant without placing handcuffs on it.”
But Mr Pressley also warned first home buyers that “cookie-cutter” new builds may come with higher risks, including bloated sale prices, defects, cheap fittings, construction delays and reduced rates of capital appreciation.
Queensland Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon said all Queenslanders should have a place to call home.
“Helping first home buyers is just one of the many ways our government is responding to national housing pressures,” she said.
“We are delivering thousands and thousands of homes as part of our Big Housing Build.
“More than 200,000 forms of housing assistance were provided to Queenslanders last financial year alone.
“We hope this helps put home ownership in reach for young Queenslanders.”