Push for leg-up on established homes

first_imgREIQ regional director Damien Keyes. Picture: Evan Morgan A TOWNSVILLE real estate leader is calling on the State Government to extend the First Home  Owners’ Grant to established homes to help stimulate the region’s struggling property­ market.REIQ regional director and Keyes & Co Property owner Damien Keyes said the current­ grant arrangements were contributing to an oversupply of new homes and disadvantaging people who couldn’t afford to build.“There is a whole other market of established homes that is being ignored,” Mr Keyes said.“In Townsville you can buy homes for under $200,000 and if you can get these young people on a home ownership path sooner then the whole economy benefits. If you’ve bought a house then you’re going down to Bunnings to buy things to renovate it, you’re buying furniture and you’re in the market for when that upswing happens.”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020The First Home Owners Grant is a once-off payment of $20,000 made to people buying a new home for the first time in Australia. It only applies to new dwellings, or in some cases homes that have been extensively renovated­.Mr Keyes said extending the grant could also help people who might be able to spend only $200,000 on their first home, while also helping the property market to recover.“A lot of the first home buyers in the new market are having to spend $340,000 or $350,000 so a lot of that time that grant just ends up funding granite benchtops or flat-screen TVs when that grant is supposed to be there to help people that have some challenges­,” he said.“There would be this whole other world of people out there that would love to be able to be able to have a house for $200,000. If you fire that up it will push house prices along and it would be a good thing for everyone.”Townsville MP Scott Stewart ruled out pushing for the grant to be extended saying one of the aims of the grant was to help the construction industry and create jobs.“The focus was to get people into their homes but also to stimulate building and construction­ industry because it was really flat following the downturn in the commodities market and the GFC,” he said.“While I can sympathise with the call for established home, this is about stimulating activit­y in the building industry.”last_img