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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

ABS data shows record number of first home owners entering market

ABS Housing Finance data released today shows the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan is continuing to deliver a much-needed boost to the housing sector with a record number of loans to first home owners in February.

Figures for the month of February show that the number of loans grew by 0.4 per cent compared to January – the fifth consecutive month of growth.

The number of loans approved for owner occupiers for new dwellings increased by 4.2 per cent and for construction increased 2.6 per cent.

The total number of loans to first home buyers was up 15.9 per cent in February to 14,484 – this is the highest level since the ABS began collecting this data in 1991.

In February, first home buyers made up 26.9 per cent of new home buyers – also a record.

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, is continuing to attract first home buyers into the market.

We need to maintain confidence in the housing sector to maintain employment and economic activity.

It’s not just about jobs for builders and tradies but also associated industries such as building manufacturers and suppliers who help keep the Australian economy ticking over.

Today’s numbers confirm what builders all over the country have been telling me – that the First Home Owners Boost has had a significant positive impact on their businesses.

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 2 years.