First home buyer grant doubled for Queenslanders
Queensland’s first home owners’ grant has been doubled as an incentive to young Queenslanders to buy or build new homes.
As of this week, first home buyers in Queensland are eligible for an additional $15,000 after the state government doubled its First Home Owner Grant.
This 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 grant applies to new builds priced under $750,000 until mid-2025.
It is estimated this doubling of the grant will support around 12,000 buyers to unlock their first home by 30 June 2025, when the boost is set to expire.
The grant can also be used for a granny flat or modular home.
The Government will use funds available through the progressive Coal Royalties regime to give back to first homeowners.
Over the last three years, more than 24,000 households have accessed $365 million in first home buyer grants.
Between 2016 and 2021, rates of home ownership in Queensland increased from 62.2 per cent to 63.5 per cent.
"You can also use it for money towards a new home, a unit, a townhouse or even if your parents want to put a granny flat out the back, so it covers the whole range of the spectrum," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“I know how much cost of living is impacting Queenslanders, especially first home buyers.
“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.
“We can only do this because we’re making sure coal companies pay their fair share.”
Property prices in Brisbane and elsewhere in the state are at record highs, while rental vacancy rates are at a corresponding low at just 1 per cent.
Oliver Hume Queensland General Manager, Dan Ross, said the upsized grant would make it easier for first home buyers to get on the property ladder.
“First home buyers feel the pressure of interest rates and cost of living pressures more than anyone else, and they can use a little extra support to make their home ownership dreams come true.
"There is a huge variety of properties under $750,000 and some great deals available in the new house and land market at the moment, so it is great time for them to reconsider their plans, factor in the grant, and go out and see what is available,” he said.
More strain on builders
Not everyone was as enamoured with the grant incentive.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has questioned the move, arguing it added greater pressure onto an already overstretched building industry.
REIQ Chief Operating Officer, Dean Milton, said it would have preferred to see supply tackled head on.
“The REIQ would like to see the government take on supply side issues such as land release, the planning approval process, appropriate skills pipeline, or freeing up excess bedrooms from retirees,” he said.
“We would prefer the one-off windfall from increased coal royalties to support stamp duty and land tax reform or easing deposit obstacles, rather than sugar hits.”
“Builders in Queensland are already facing the highest construction costs in the country and we would expect this measure to drive up those costs further.”
Mr Milton added that first home buyers should be aware the grant has its limitations.
“You’re only able to take advantage of this grant if you’re a first home buyer who is buying or building a brand-new home valued at less than $750,000 including land and any contract variations – which in reality can be a really rare find,” he said.
“Consumers should be aware that if they sign a “cost plus” contract and the expense ends up over $750k then they won’t qualify for any aspect of the grant. Additionally, you cannot rent out rooms to friends or family to obtain additional income.
“It also does not extend to established housing, which is a shame and a wasted opportunity, when there’s established stock in regional markets that’s generally more affordable.”