THE uptake of the first homeowners’ grant reduced by more than 60 per cent in Orange after the government scrapped the grant for pre-existing homes.
Previous to October, first homeowners could buy pre-existing properties stamp duty free and receive a $7000 grant from the state government.
The old scheme was replaced with a $15,000 handout for newly constructed homes only, which will be downgraded to $10,000 at the end of two years.
The policy change was designed to encourage homeowners to build or buy new homes to kick-start the building industry.
However Central Tablelands Finance owner Vince Ferrito said, in Orange the policy had not worked.
There is a bottleneck when it comes to finding blocks of land available, he said.
“Subdivisions are taking far too long to go through,” he said.
“A lot of clients who put their deposits down in February and March are still waiting for the title to be issued.
He said he had noticed a decline in first homebuyers entering the market and those that do are older.
He understood the building industry needed to be “ignited” but he thinks the policy could have been better thought out.
It should not have been a one size fits all approach.
“Even if they had of kept the $7000 for pre-existing homes and made the new homes grant $10,000, that would have helped,” he said.
“For a $300,000 home people are paying around $9000 worth of stamp duty.”
In October there were 22 people who received the first homeowners’ grant in the Orange postcode of 2800, in November there was 12 and December there were four.
Yet this financial year is looking positive for the building industry in Orange with nine people taking up the grant in July whereas there was three in June.