There has been a substantial increase of first home buyers gaining a foothold in the property ladder in Orange since the NSW Government announced additional relief on transfer duty - formerly stamp duty - midway through 2020.
Temporary increases to the transfer duty exemption and concession thresholds on new home and vacant land purchases were put in place last August, providing more opportunity for first home buyers to boost the pandemic-ravaged economy.
In the five months following the changes - from August to December - there was 191 exemptions and concessions granted in Orange compared to 135 in the same period of 2019.
That marks a 41.5 per cent rise, the threshold increase appearing particularly beneficial considering Orange's booming market. With the median house price in the city almost reaching half a million, affordability is a major hurdle.
It does give buyers more options ... it allows them to look a bit further than the entry point they might have hadCompari Finance Solutions owner Amanda Gleeson
Although that falls inside the original exemption threshold for new homes of $650,000 the temporary increase to $800,000 - with concessional rates phasing out at $1 million - provides buyers with a bigger range of property opportunities.
"It does give buyers more options, I'd say particularly singles or couples with to incomes who are looking to buy, it allows them to look a bit further than the entry point they might have had," Compari Finance Solutions owner Amanda Gleeson said, although stock availability plays a big role in Orange too.
"[Transfer] duty is a big cost in buying a home so it's definitely beneficial in that sense and it helps buyers who looking to purchase land as well."
The thresholds, including their increase, is different for those looking to purchase vacant land, which GJ Gardner Homes' website also explains as part of a wealth of information available for first home buyers.
The building company makes sure to distinguish the difference between the transfer duty exemptions and concessions, and the government's First Home Owner's Grant Scheme too.
"(Vacant) Land can't be purchased using the [First Home Buyers Grant] for home buyers," GJ Gardner Homes' website says.
"If you are a first-time buyer who intends to purchase land on which to build a home the sale will be exempt from [transfer] duty provided it is less than [$400,000]."
Concessional rates apply to vacant land purchases up to $500,000 under the temporary changes, which will all stay in place for the remainder of the financial year, they're slated to end on July 31.
Should the upward swing continue, the numbers of exemptions and concessions granted in the 2020-21 financial year will eclipse the previous 12 months.
Including the 30 from July there was a total of 221 granted up to December 31, already more than two thirds of the 319 approved in the 2019-20 financial year.
According to the NSW Treasury transfer duty adds about $34,000 to the up-front cost of buying a typical home and it now takes more than 12 years for the average person to save for a deposit.
"[Transfer] duty is a significant financial barrier to those buying a first home and this program has helped thousands of people go from renters to homeowners without saving for years to pay stamp duty," NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.
"Record low interest rates are putting upwards pressure on prices, but it's clear if we can lower the financial burden the dream of home ownership burns as strong as ever."
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