By Chelsea Rice
Real estate agents believe Perth’s already out-of-control urban sprawl could be made worse by the Barnett Government’s decision to scrap the $3000 first homeowners’ grant for established dwellings.
The only financial incentive for new owners will now be a $10,000 grant for those purchasing a newly-built home.
The axing of the grant for established properties has also drawn criticism from first homebuyers who say the move will further worsen Perth’s urban sprawl by driving buyers to new homes in the city’s cheaper outer suburbs.
Potential first homeowner Jade Lloyd, 24, of Dianella, has been on the hunt for an affordable inner city dwelling for the past year.
While she says she would still not consider building in the outer suburbs, there is no incentive for young people to look at established buildings closer to the CBD.
“I have thought of building to get the grant, however, land in the area I want to live in is just not affordable, and then you have the costs of building a house on top of that,” Miss Lloyd said.
“I am willing to live in a smaller place closer to the city, but affordability is hard at the moment, I wouldn’t be able to do it without my parents’ support.”
Real estate agent Craig Brosnan of Beaufort Reality in Highgate says the changes to the new homeowners grant will encourage urban sprawl and also do nothing to address the issue of affordability for first homeowners.
“It is incredibly shortsighted, while I understand that the government needs to be keep the building industry buoyant, they would be better to suffer the short term pain than end up with a city that goes half way to Broome,” Mr Brosnan says.
“They really should be looking at giving people grants to live within a 10k radius of the city regardless of what they buy.”