Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

ABS data shows increase in first home owner activity

ABS Housing Finance data released today shows the Rudd Government’s Economic Security Strategy has delivered a major boost to the housing sector.

Figures for the month of January show that the number of loans for new home buyers grew by 5.6 per cent compared to December – the fourth consecutive month of growth.

The number of commitments for the construction of new dwellings increased by 2.5 per cent.

This result is being led by first home buyers – with almost 12,500 taking out their first home loan.

In January, first home buyers made up 26.5 per cent of new home buyers – the highest proportion since the ABS began collecting this data in 1991.

The $1.5 billion First Home Owners Boost is part of the Rudd Government’s $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy announced on October 14 last year to strengthen the Australian economy during the global financial crisis.

The First Home Owners Boost, combined with low interest rates, has attracted tens of thousands of first home buyers into the market.

Housing and construction account for about nine per cent of all employment in Australia – nearly one million jobs.

We need to maintain confidence in the housing sector to maintain employment and economic activity. Increased first home buyer activity means more jobs right across the economy.

The Rudd Government is serious about supporting the jobs of builders and tradies across the country – that’s why we took early and decisive action to maintain confidence in the housing and construction sector by introducing the First Home Owners Boost.

Under the First Home Owners Boost:

  • First home buyers who purchase established homes will have their grant doubled from $7,000 to $14,000; and
  • First home buyers who purchase a newly constructed home will receive an extra $14,000 to take their grant to $21,000.

The First Home Owners Boost is a key component of the Rudd Government’s comprehensive housing package, which will boost rental stocks, help people save for their first home and lower housing infrastructure costs for some entry level housing.

In addition, the Government’s $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan will provide for the construction of 20,000 new social housing dwellings for low-income Australians and renew another 10,000.

This $6.4 billion social housing stimulus will support up to 15,000 Australian jobs over the next two years.