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First-home owner’s boost could return this year: John Symond

By David Gordon

The government could bring back the first-home owner’s boost scheme as early as this year to help stimulate the property market and win 2013 election votes, according to Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond.

Symond says it is generally true that “in any run-up to an election the government throws money around”.

“Probably my cynical self says six to 12 months ahead of the next election, it would not surprise me that the government might stimulate housing by helping first-home buyers and they may possibly introduce a bonus or a boost to the first-home owner’s grant,” he says.

The earliest date for the next federal election is August 3, 2013 (unless the government calls an early election) and an election must be held by November 30, 2013, meaning if Symond’s prediction proves accurate the boost to the first-home owner’s scheme could return in the latter half of the year.

The original scheme ran from October 2008 to December 2009 with the aim of “cushion[ing] the Australian economy from the worst impacts” of the GFC.

Up until September 30, 2009, it provided first-time buyers with an extra $7,000 to purchase an existing home and $14,000 if they purchased a newly constructed home or built a new home. The scheme operated in tandem with the $7,000 on offer as part of the first-home owner’s grant, which is still in effect.

Between October 2009 and December 2009, the first-home owner’s booost was halved, with $3,500 available for the purchase of established homes and $7,000 for the purchase of new homes.

Symond says while no one can be certain of the boost returning, he tips that “come federal election time there might be some handout for first-home buyers”.

Regardless of that, he says the market is looking good for first-home buyers, with “all the ducks lining up – lower price values, lower interest rates, makes it easier to save and easier to get into home ownership”.

“The environment for first home owners going forward is looking pretty good,” Symond says.

Symond plans to grow broker numbers by 25% in 2012 to more than 1,000 after posting strong 2011 results with profits soaring to $52 million.

 (Article from Property Observer)

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