Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

First Home Owners Boost a Win-Win for Queensland Builders and Homebuyers

Tanya Plibersek today visited the Brisbane Homebuyer Show to talk first hand with builders and house hunters and discuss Rudd Government measures to support jobs in the current tough global economic environment.

Commonwealth treasury figures show that more than 17,000 Queenslanders had taken up the First Home Owners Boost by the end of April, itself a record month with 3,881.

“The First Home Owners Boost, combined with low interest rates has brought first home buyers into the market in record numbers,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The First Home Owners Boost – part of the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan – has helped support jobs in the construction sector during the global economic downturn.”

ABS Housing Finance data released this week shows the number of loans for owner occupiers increased by 0.9 per cent in the month of April. This is the seventh consecutive monthly increase.

Increased activity is being driven by first home buyers. First home buyers made up 28.0 per cent of all new loans for owner occupation – the highest level since the ABS began collecting this data in 1991.

A total of 78,154 Australians had taken up the Boost by the end of April across the country.

The Rudd Government announced a six-month extension to the First Home Owners Boost in the recent Budget. The Boost will be reduced by half for the last three months of the extension period.

“Extending the First Home Owners Boost will support more local jobs and help more Australians realise their dream of home ownership,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Activity in the housing sector means more jobs for electricians, builders, plumbers and other tradespeople across the country as we fight the impact of the global recession.”

Adenbrook Homes Managing Director Robert Lyndon said his business was looking to expand into an additional three regions across Queensland before the end of the year.

“First home buyers now make up around 40 per cent of our annual homes sales – up from around 10 per cent in previous years,” Mr Lyndon said.

“The increase in first home owner enquiries has led to a shift in market demand, so we have altered our product range with our most affordable home now priced at $125,900 plus land costs.”

The Government is also investing $6.4 billion to build 20,000 social housing dwellings across Australia. This will stimulate the building and construction industry and has been estimated by Treasury to support 15,000 jobs nationally over the next two years.