- Near record $6 million was paid out in the first home buyers scheme
- Assistance was given to over 3000 recipients
- First home buyers are driving WA market recovery, according to REIWA
Last financial year $6 million was handed out to first home buyers in grants as a part of the Home Buyers Assistance Account (HBAA), according to data released by the Western Australian Government. The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) has cited first home buyers as a driving force of WA economic recovery.
The state government’s HBAA scheme supplies up to $2000 to eligible first home buyers. This equated to $6.035 million to 3,093 buyers in the last financial year.
The figure comes close to the $6.3 million in grants delivered in the 2012-13 financial year.
REIWA President Damian Collins was pleased with the result.
“The dream of home ownership is still alive and well in WA. While in many parts of Australia, particularly the east coast, first home buyers are being priced out of the market, WA is the most affordable place in the country to buy your first home,” Mr Collins said.
First home buyers fuel recovery
REIWA has attributed WA’s market recovery largely to a spike in first home buyers.
First home buyers are responsible for 48.5% of all sales in the state’s owner-occupier market.
REIA data has also revealed a 105% jump in the number of first home buyers in WA.
“WA had the highest portion of first home buyers in its owner-occupier market of any state in the country during the March 2021 quarter.”
Damian Collins, REIWA President
“It’s wonderful that so many West Australians were able to move into home ownership during the last year. REIWA commends the WA Government for helping make home ownership more attainable for first home buyers,” Mr Collins said.
Home Buyers Assistance Account
Under the scheme, recipients can have some of the costs associated with buying a first home reimbursed. These might include mortgage insurance costs, and settlement and lending institution fees.
“The number of grants being awarded to first home buyers shows that it’s not only established home owners or investors showing interest in the WA property market.
Amber-Jade Sanderson, Commerce Minister
“HBAA grants are highly valued by new home owners who often spend the money on furniture, landscaping or establishing outdoor entertainment areas,” said WA’s Commerce Minister, Amber-Jade Sanderson.
“We are pleased to be able to provide financial assistance that makes buying a first home a more attractive proposition and encourages people to move into home ownership,” she said.
To be eligible the property price must be $400,000 or less and the buyer must reside at the home for at least 12 months. The home must also be already built (or partly built), rather than off-the-plan. Applications must also be submitted within 90 days of settlement.
Applications for the grant are still available, full criteria and the application form can be found on the Consumer Protection website.