Victorian government steps in to help first-home buyers

  • By The House of Realty Team
  • 06 Mar, 2017
The Andrews Labor government has introduced a raft of measures to help first-home buyers, including scaling back stamp duty, and eliminating it for buyers of properties worth less than $600,000, introducing equity sharing, and adding incentives for buyers in regional Victoria.

The Andrews Labor government has introduced a raft of measures aimed at helping first-home buyers get a toehold in the rapidly rising Victorian property market.
The Victorian government will abolish stamp duty for first-home buyers purchasing properties worth less than $600,000, and will offer stamp duty concessions for first-home buyers purchasing property valued between $600,000 and $750,000.

Both the exemption and the concession will apply to new and established homes.

The government will also remove stamp duty concessions for off-the-plan investment properties. Stamp duty concessions for off-the-plan properties will be available for those who intend to live in the property, or who are first-home buyers.

At the same time, the government is introducing a tax on properties left empty in inner and middle Melbourne suburbs. The Vacant Residential Property Tax will be levied at 1 per cent, multiplied by the capital improved value of the taxable property.

Premier Daniel Andrews said, “These changes will help thousands of Victorians make the Great Australian Dream [of home ownership] a reality."

The initiatives will mean families and future generations "will be able to afford somewhere to live,” said Victorian state treasurer Tim Pallas.

The Victorian government has also introduced an equity-sharing scheme to help first-home buyers fund a deposit and mortgage. The new $50 million pilot scheme, HomesVic, will be introduced in January 2018, and will help Victorians co-purchase one of up to 400 homes. Homes Vic will take an equity share of up to 25 per cent in the properties.

This program will be available to households where couples earn up to $95,000, and singles earn up to $75,000.

The Labor government will also contribute $5 million to a national, community sector, shared-equity scheme, Buy Assist, which will help deliver another 100 shared-equity homes.

The Victorian state government will also allocate at least 10 per cent of all government-led urban renewal projects to first-home buyers, for example the 56-hectare Arden development.

Premier Daniel Andrews said, “As rent keeps climbing, it’s getting harder and harder for Victorians to save for a deposit. By co-purchasing these properties, we’re helping them to get out of the rental market and into their own home sooner.”

Property in regional Victoria was given a boost last Friday when the state government announced it will double the first-homeowners grant in regional Victoria. First homebuyers building new homes in regional Victoria will be entitled to $20,000 as of 1 July this year, up from $10,000 for new homes valued up to $750,000.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria welcomed the stamp duty reductions and the increase in the first-home owners grant in regional Victoria.

REIV President Joseph Walton told SCHWARTZWILLIAMS, "The REIV has long sought greater support for first homebuyers, and welcomes the government’s new stamp duty reductions for these buyers.

“Strong capital growth in Victoria’s median house price, particularly in metropolitan Melbourne, has made access to the housing market more difficult for first homebuyers," said Walton.

“These new initiatives will enable many Victorians to move from the rental market into home ownership," he said.

“Given Australia’s housing market is the largest store of the nation’s wealth, the REIV considers it crucial that the Government continues to support first homebuyers in entering the market,” concluded Walton. The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales said the Victorian government's measures to help first-home buyers should "propel" the New South Government to introduce similar measures to improve affordability for first-home buyers.

“Victoria has acted,” said John Cunningham, president of the REINSW. “It is time for NSW to step up and take a stand."

"We will lose our best and brightest if we do not match or better what Victoria has pledged to introduce," said Cunningham.

Cunningham said the measures aimed at enticing first-home buyers to regional Victoria should be reintroduced in NSW.

“NSW wound up its regional homebuyers schemes in March 2015. This must also be put back on the agenda,” he said.

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia also said the South Australian government should introduce measures to help first-home buyers.

REISA CEO, Greg Troughton called on the South Australian State Government to take note and follow suit.
"It is time now for South Australia to take this problem seriously”, said Troughton.

Troughton said South Australia already suffers "brain drain" to the eastern states, and the Victorian measures could make the situation even worse.

Troughton's sentiments were echoed by REISA president, Alex Ouwens.

"Property is South Australia’s largest private sector employer and biggest industry, accounting for 11% of the state’s economic activity," Ouwens told SCHWARTZWILLIAMS.

"Property is the largest single industry contributor, paying 57% of state taxes, local government rates, fees and charges," he said.

"South Australia pays the highest stamp duty percentage in the country," explained Ouwens, saying, "the tax system is keeping first-homebuyers out" of the market.

"Without an equalisation strategy of the tax burden, South Australia will not be competitive nor attractive to invest," said Ouwens.

The Housing Industry Association also welcomed the Andrews government's announcements, saying they would improve first-home buyer affordability in Victoria.

“The HIA has consistently highlighted the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing the state’s housing affordability challenge,” said Keith Banks, HIA Victoria’s acting executive director.

"The HIA commends the Victorian Government for a policy suite that addresses a range of areas,” said Banks.
The stamp duty policies will "provide thousands of Victorians with the ability to enter the market faster than previously possible and will provide a boost to Victoria’s residential housing industry,” he said.

By The House of Realty Team 16 Oct, 2017

From a funky granny flat in a suburban back yard and architect-designed homes, to a sand bypass system, and a dam that stores the region's drinking water, the Gold Coast Open House 2017, which starts on 4 November, has something for everyone.

The Gold Coast Open House will open 40 buildings to the general public, including heritage treasures and Commonwealth Games-ready sports venues.

Related content: Australia's best architecture: have your say

The region is well known for its interwar and post-war development boom and recreational industries, and the buildings and places in this year's events reflect these influences. The program provide a snapshot of the evolution of architecture on the Gold Coast. Some buildings date as far back as the late 1800s, and the program also includes cutting-edge design by some of the Gold Coast’s top architects.

Gold Coast Open House is a free event and suitable for all ages.

To see the program and to book tickets, visit the Gold Coast Open House web site.

This article was found in The Real Estate Conversation -

By The House of Realty Team 08 Oct, 2017

It was the little house on a small block that country music singer Adam Brand jokingly referred to as “The Shack”.

The tiny two-bedroom house was riddled with asbestos and in desperate need of some TLC when Adam found it – and it was exactly what he was looking for.

As a touring artist, Adam is on the road a lot. But in between gigs he found himself with quite a bit of downtime and a strong desire to find a property project to work on.

“Many years ago, I bought a couple of rental properties, did some very basic renovations where I ripped up carpets, repainted and cleaned up the yards,” Adam explains.

“I found that I loved the whole process of finding something rundown that’s dirty and neglected that everyone drives past and looks at the place and thinks they wouldn’t go near it.
I enjoyed pouring love into it, and having people go ‘Wow!’ at the end result.”

He hadn’t yet tackled a major renovation, but with a little time on his hands between tours, “I just needed a good project to sink my teeth into,” he says.

So he bought a house to renovate in his hometown on the Gold Coast.

“It was located in Palm Beach, a beachside suburb, on a very small 408sqm block. It was really a tiny little shack with two bedrooms and one bathroom that was built in the
’50s,” he says.

“It’s on the other side of the highway, something that will make sense to people who know the area – so it’s not on the real fancy side overlooking the beach. But the first dozen avenues in the suburb are basically five minutes’ walk from the cafes in Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth [Avenues], and it’s so close to the water you’re literally a few minutes’ walk away.”

Pounding the pavement in search of property

Adam approached his renovation project in a strategic manner by planning what he wanted to achieve well before he began browsing the classifieds

By The House of Realty Team 01 Oct, 2017
Article found in: Real Estate Conversation
By The House of Realty Team 26 Sep, 2017
Article written by: The Real Estate Conversation
By The House of Realty Team 24 Sep, 2017

You want to do everything you can to help your home sell for a high price, right? Well, you can put the demolition tools down and take a step back from the bathroom remodel.

Mozo has surveyed over 1,000 Aussies to find out what’s most likely to stop them buying a property, and it turns out small fixes can mean a big difference when it comes to selling your home for a good price.

But it’s not always easy to know where to start - so here are the top 10 things that might turnoff a prospective buyer and some tips on how you can fix them in your home

By The House of Realty Team 18 Sep, 2017

These are the hottest renovation projects in the country this year, and they also have some of the hottest kitchens.

Seven homes, including two from Queensland, made the National Architecture Awards shortlist for Residential Architecture — Houses (Alterations & Additions), with competition described by the jury as being at “its most fierce” this year

By The House of Realty Team 11 Sep, 2017

Building our city

The 'Building our city' project is a long term research and reporting project being undertaken in conjunction with Griffith University’s Urban Research Program that measures how specific parts of the Gold Coast are changing over time. The project will track the benefits of investment in certain areas by the City, the Commonwealth and State Governments, and provide input into public policy decision making as future reports are published.

The methodology is simple. Specific locations are selected; indicators (economic, urban planning, social and environmental) are identified, measured and mapped to establish a baseline. The indicators are then measured again every two years and the results are compared to identify changes. The key to the project is the simplicity and clarity of the presentation of the data in a highly visual report with the aim of making the data accessible for a wide range of stakeholders.

The overall aim is to track the impact of infrastructure planning and investment in these specific locations over time, and to utilise this data to inform future public policy development and decision making, as well as allowing for successes to be measured and communicated.

For further information please contact our Office of City Architect on 07 5582 8875.

Light Rail Corridor - Parkwood to Broadbeach

The Gold Coast light rail project is one of the biggest public transport projects in the country, and the biggest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken on the Gold Coast. As Queensland’s first ever light rail system, it represents a major step forward in transforming the city into a modern, accessible destination. Fast, frequent trams now connect 16 light rail stations along a 13 kilometre route from Broadbeach to Gold Coast University Hospital.

Read the Light Rail Corridor 2013 Baseline Report  to see the statistics prior to the operation of the light rail.

Read the Light Rail Corridor 2015 Status Report to see what’s changed since 2013.

The 'Building our city – Light Rail Corridor 2017 Status Report' will be due for publication in early-mid 2018.

Southport PDA

Southport was declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) in October 2013 with the Southport PDA Development Scheme being approved by the State Government in September 2014, marking a major milestone in planning for the Gold Coast CBD and significantly boosting the City’s plans to revitalise Southport.

Read the Southport PDA 2015 Baseline Report  to find out more about the benefits of this project.

The 'Building our city – Southport PDA 2017 Status Report' will be due for publication in early-mid 2018.

Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP)

The Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct  is a vibrant community where people live, learn and work. The 200 hectare health and knowledge precinct, located at Parklands in Southport, is rapidly growing and includes the state-of-the-art Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast Private Hospital, and Griffith University.

Works have begun for the development of the 29 hectare Commonwealth Games Village (adjacent to Griffith University), which will accommodate 6500 athletes and team officials in the lead up and during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ .

Read the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct 2016 Baseline Report  to find out more about the benefits of this project.

Li ght Rail Corridor - Broadbeach to Coolangatta

The Southern Light Rail Corridor will extend the existing route from Broadbeach South station to Coolangatta. Extending the light rail will make it easier to get around the city, reduce congestion on the roads and improve commute times. Connections to residential areas, workplaces and the airport will see continued economic growth, jobs and opportunities. Residents and tourists will benefit from improved access to beaches, parks, dining and entertainment.

The development of the ‘Building our city – Southern Light Rail Corridor 2017 Baseline Report’ is currently under development and is due for publication in early to mid 2018.

By The House of Realty Team 04 Sep, 2017
The true pioneer of Surfers Paradise is James Beattie, who in the 1870s became the first person to farm the area. He sold out not long after to Johann Meyer, who opened the Main Beach Hotel as a tourist destination.

By 1889 the area had been given the name Elston, which it kept until 1933 when, due to lobbying by Jim Cavill, it was renamed Surfers Paradise – also the name of his popular hotel.

When Kinkabool, Surfers Paradise's first highrise, was built in 1959, it signalled the injection of further entrepreneurial spirit and a drive that would soon define the region as Australia's favourite beachside playground.

The next three decades saw a development boom unlike any in the country, a growth spurt that would push Surfers Paradise and the wider Gold Coast (which was named in 1959) from sleepy coastal holiday town to major urban centre.

Today, the Gold Coast – with Surfers Paradise at its heart – is the sixth largest city and fastest-growing region in Australia. Surfers Paradise is now a home to many and a dream holiday destination to many more. It's a place of work for business owners and professionals and still, a timeless beachside playground for one and all.
By The House of Realty Team 27 Aug, 2017

A syndicate that includes former Crocodile Dundee star, Paul Hogan, is set to pay $21 million for Brisbane's Queen's Arms Hotel, on trendy James Street in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.  

It is understood the syndicate is headed up by Sydney publican and former Lewis Hotels’ head, Peter Ashelford, and Nick Politis.

The new fund is believed to be worth $100m, and recently purchased Tree Tops in Burleigh, and bought the Robert Frazer-Scott’s Boat House Tavern, Coomera, from receivers.

The vendor of the Queen's Arms is Chris Condon.

Condon, who has owned and operated the Queen's Arms Hotel for eight years, recently refurbished the pub to the tune of $5 million, taking particular care to modernise the building, but preserve its history.

It is understood Tony Bargwanna, director hotels Savills Australia, negotiated the sale on behalf of the syndicate, but he declined to comment.

The sale is expected to settle in September.

This article was first published on The Hotel Conversation.

By The House of Realty Team 21 Aug, 2017
BMT has created a list of assets that property investors commonly overlook when claiming depreciation, including garden sheds, exhaust fans, garden watering systems, garbage bins, intercom systems, door closers, and shower curtains
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