All Conveyancing senior legal advisor Jodie Romanes discusses the new incentives announced last week.
Since 1 January 2015, first home buyers have had to purchase new homes to be eligible for the First Home Buyers Grant scheme. The NT Government’s budget announcement on 24 May 2016 that first home buyers will be able to receive a stamp duty discount on the purchase of existing homes is an exciting announcement and has been welcomed by those in the industry.
What is the discount?
From 24 May 2016 until 30 June 2017 eligible first home buyers of existing homes will be able to receive a 50% discount on their stamp duty up to a maximum of $10,000. The government will review the discount on 30 June 2017.
The discount will not apply to new homes but first home buyers of new homes may be eligible for the First Home Buyers Grant of up to $26,000, which continues to apply.
What does this mean for first home buyers?
First home buyers will now have the ability to shop around and buy existing properties, rather than having to compete with other first home buyers at new land releases, and then having to consider all of the other overheads associated with purchasing a new home, such as fences, landscaping, driveways etc.
I liken it to your first car – few have the means to go out and buy a brand new $100,000.00 sports car for your first set of wheels – you will more likely spend $10,000 to $20,000 on a decent second hand car and work your way up to the $100,000 car – it’s the same with properties and so first home buyers now have more options to buy more reasonably priced existing properties.
If you are a Territory homeowner-occupier, from 5 June 2016 until 30 June 2017 you can apply to receive a voucher of up to $2,000 toward minor home improvements, repairs and upgrades to your home.
If you apply for the voucher, you will need to pay for at least half of the job yourself – for example, if the job is worth $1,000, you might be eligible for a voucher of up to $500.00 and you pay the balance yourself. If the job is worth $5,000 you are then eligible for a voucher of up to $2,000, and you then must pay the balance $3,000 (plus GST associated with the job).
Examples of jobs that may be eligible to be covered by this scheme include electrical work, plumbing, tiling, roof repairs, landscaping or tree lopping, irrigation system upgrades, fences, painting or plastering – to a maximum of $20,000 value in works carried out by a Territory small business registered with the Scheme.
All Conveyancing can you buy your first home and any questions you may have regarding your eligibility for the First Home Owner Discount or Grant.
Jodie Romanes is a senior legal advisor at All Conveyancing, a specialist legal services provider for property transactions large and small across Northern Territory and part of the national law firm lawlab.