Swan extends first-home buyers grant

Treasurer Wayne Swan put an end to months of speculation when he announced that the first-home buyers grant bonus will continue until November as he delivered the federal budget.

Speaking in parliament, he said that the decision had been made in light of the gloomy prospects for economic recovery and added that the scheme had proved popular and successful.

So far, the scheme has helped more than 59,000 Australians buy their own home, he said, adding that it has also provided jobs by encouraging people to build their own home.

Buyers who are planning to compare home loans as a result of the decision to extend the grant may not want to leave it too long to do so, as the full extension will only be available for three months.

After that point, the amount available for those planning to build a home will be halved to $10,500, although the $7,000 for buyers will remain in place.

The first-home buyers grant has attracted criticism in recent weeks on the grounds that it has simply pushed house prices up.

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