HIA welcomes improved first home grants

The lack of affordable housing across Australia continues to be a hot topic of conversation and it seems there has been precious little good news of late.

Many Aussies are finding it extremely difficult to get their first foot on to the property ladder, as prices have remained stubbornly high because of a dearth of supply.

Youngsters are having little choice but to stay at home with their parents for far longer than they would like, as it is very difficult to stump up enough cash to put down a serious deposit on their own place.

Official statistics relating to mortgage uptake in July 2012 highlighted just how badly the property sector is faring at the moment.

Following a slight improvement in June, the number of successful loan applications slipped again in July and the Housing Industry Association (HIA) insisted that the figures are a real cause for concern.

Thankfully, the problem has not gone unnoticed by the government and it is desperately searching for new ways to stimulate activity in the housing market.

One policy that could make all the difference is the increased first home construction grants that are being handed to house hunters.

The Queensland Budget is delivering a $15,000 grant to people who are looking to build their own first home, which is a significant increase on the previous limit of $7,000.

HIA's executive director for Queensland Warwick Temby believes this will provide a real incentive for Aussies to construct their own houses.

He insisted that now is a great time for people to haul themselves on to the property ladder.

"Combined with the current relatively low interest rates and strong competition among builders, the grant will add further to the great building opportunities available in the market," he commented.

"The measures that the government has now introduced including the grant and the restoration of the stamp duty concession for owner occupied homes, is a balanced package that will list the housing market," Mr Temby added.

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