Australians have long enjoyed the benefit, in one shape or another, of a government grant to assist them into their first home.
Recently, back in the May OZ budget, it was extended again as part of the economic stimulus package the government is pushing.
For the first time owner of a new home, the Australian Government will now stump up with combined grants of up to AUD$21,000 in total.
Seems this also applies to certain Kiwis living in OZ. So it would seem when they aren’t trying to beat us in Rugby, Cricket or Netball they still try to help out.
According to reports many Kiwis are using the grant to purchase holiday homes in Australia.
Above headline from South Australia’s Sunday Mail last week.
And the Politicians answer….
The Government has this week confirmed in answers to Opposition Senate Estimates Questions that New Zealanders and other foreigners are entitled to use money under the stimulus package to buy homes in Australia.
The article in the paper goes on to report
“In relation to New Zealand citizens, special provisions exist in the States’ First Home Owners Scheme legislation to ensure that NZ citizens residing permanently in Australia under Special Category Visas have equal access to the grant as other international citizens residing permanently in Australia,” the official advice said.
From a Real Estate perspective there was much hoopla in Australia back in April this year to encourage the government to go past, its then deadline, which I think from memory was 30 June. (End of financial year for OZ)
Here is how the Government put it….
The Boost was introduced on 14 October 2008, by the Australian Government, which together with the current $7000 First Home Owner Grant (“FHOG”) provides first home buyers with up to $21 000 where contracts were entered into on or before 30 June 2009. The Boost was extended on 12 May 2009 in the Commonwealth Budget, to continue in its current form for contracts entered into on or before 30 September 2009, and then will reduce by half for contracts entered into on or after 1 October 2009 and on or before 31 December 2009.
Many Real Estate commentators were blaming the grant for an artificial price inflation by that $10-20,000 grant amount and were voicing their concerns that if it stopped there would be a correspondingly similar drop in home prices. Talk of another side issue here too, but really this one will have the same reaction in any country.
Anyway as it goes, it seems to have been quite successful as many many thousands of new Australian home owners will attest.