THOSE struggling to buy their first home have been given an extra boost with the WA Government increasing the First Home Owner Grant as well as Keystart lending criteria.
The grant has increase by $5000 up from $10,000 and will take effect from January 1, 2017 for 12 months.
The metropolitan income limit for Keystart loans has been increased by $20,000 and will also come into effect in the New Year.
The lending criteria for loans was tightened in the 2014-15 Budget to help pay Government’s debt but the Barnett Government claims the “recent success” of selling off part of Keystart’s 1.35 billion loan book has allowed it to broaden its criteria.
WA Premier Colin Barnett says both measures will not only help struggling first homebuyers enter the market but also stimulate the construction sector and create more jobs.
“We are conscious about housing affordability and this boost will provide more families an opportunity to get into the housing market,” Mr Barnett said. “We are committed to creating and supporting jobs for West Australians, so this carefully targeted measure will not only provide more employment opportunities for every tradie in your neighbourhood, but we expect an extra 650 WA first homebuyers to buy or build a new home.”
Treasurer Mike Nahan said the 12-month boost to the grant, coupled with the existing transfer duty assistance provided to first homebuyers, was one of many measures the Barnett Government was introducing to support the State’s economy.
First homebuyers who purchase vacant land to build their home on will continue to pay no duty on purchases up to $300,000, and pay a reduced amount of duty on land up to $400,000, Dr Nahan said.
“Those buying an established home or a newly constructed home also pay no duty for homes up to $430,000, and reduced transfer duty on homes up to $530,000″ he added.
Finance and Small Business Minister Sean L’Estrange said the new $5,000 boost payment would apply to contracts entered into between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 for the purchase or construction of a new home, as well as owner builders who lay foundations of their home between those dates.
He said homes must be completed within certain timeframes. Construction must start within 26 weeks from signing the building contract and be finished within 18 months.
Those buying a new ‘off-the-plan’ home, including apartments, will need to make sure construction is completed by June 30, 2019, he added.
As with the existing grant, the boost will also apply to new homes up to the value of $750,000 (or up to $1 million if the home is located north of Shark Bay).
Under the changes, Keystart’s metropolitan income limits will rise up to $20,000:
Singles – up to $90,000, previously $70,000
Couples – up to $115,000, previously $95,000
Families – up to $135,000, previously $115,000
Changes also mean property price cap in the Pilbara and Kimberley will rise from $500,000 to $650,000 for Keystart borrowers.
It is hard to believe that another year has ended.
To end the year, we thought that we would give you a ‘snap shot’ of the year that was!!
On a scale of 1 to 10, we would rate the year 9.5 out of 10.
It has been an excellent year for us that hasn’t gone without hard work and dedication to our clients.
If we had a dollar for every time someone spoke negatively about real estate or asked us if I was ‘broke’ yet as nothing is selling, we would be a millionaire!!!
This is an interesting word that has a lot of meaning.
It hasn’t been a ‘dead’ year! It has been one of the best selling years that we have encountered.
Real Estate is an industry that ticks along in any market.
The real estate market has no feelings!
People still die, divorce, up grade, down size, invest, reduce debt or move no matter what property prices are.
The only group that doesn’t buy when prices are high are investors however I can confirm that investors are now looking and buying in Geraldton.
Why wouldn’t they?
What a stunning part of the world that we live in.
In the last 12 months, we have noticed an increased vibrancy in the city!
The Geraldton Foreshore is a buzz of activity and new opportunities are presenting themselves.
The news about lower prices for crayfish in the hospitality industry will be sure to enhance the tourism in Geraldton!
This is an excellent move!!
We have been meeting exciting and dynamic people coming to town with new ideas and energy!
We really have exciting times ahead in Geraldton!!
Real Estate deals have been tough during 2016 with some deals taking weeks to close.
We have had situations where we are creeping up with a counter offer with only $1000 an offer!
We call this ‘ping pong’and it just depends how long the game lasts before a deal is done.
In saying this, buyers have had a phenomenal year of buying!!!
All the suburbs have dropped close to $100,000 in value in the last 12 months.
Wandina for example has lovely 4×2 homes for as low at $319,000. This home recently sold for $310,000!!
Rangeway and Spalding will offer you a property for $100,000 and a recent sale in Utakarra, a brick and tile home – ok not the best Street however sold for $70,000!!!
Land in Drummond Cove has been selling for as low as $80,000 and blocks in Wandina, depending on the street are selling for $95,000
Our opinion is that we have hit the bottom of the market!
There is only way to recover and that is up.
We have spent time to help promote Geraldton as the wonderful place we live in.
After researching the effects of words on google, we started a FB page called Geraldton Scene of which we post positive news and lovely photos of Geraldton. The page currently has just over 2500 likes and we would encourage you all to like the page and share with your network.
Please see below :
In closing, we thank you very much for your continued business throughout 2016.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and an excellent New Year!
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