The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), Property Council of Australia (PCA) and NAB are among the groups that have welcomed the scheme, which comes into effect on Saturday, 1 October 2022.
Applauded for its introduction at a time when regional Australia battles with surging house prices, the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG) program offers 10,000 places to Australians who have resided in their regional location for over 12 months, which successful applicants accommodated a 5 per cent deposit and not required to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).
REIA president Hayden Groves relayed how the timing of the scheme’s beginning was pertinent, as the institute’s latest Real Estate Market Facts report found that many of Australia’s regional hubs experienced exuberant price hikes in the year preceding June 2022.
“In New South Wales, Wollongong was up 17.1 per cent while Newcastle housing saw price hikes of 13.1 per cent,” Mr Groves detailed. “In Queensland, houses on the Sunshine Coast increased by 19.6 per cent, while the Gold Coast recorded an overall rise of 17.5 per cent.
“Victoria’s regions recorded more modest growth with Ballarat and Bendigo seeing rises of 3.6 per cent.”
He believes the scheme will offer some relief to first home buyers in Australia’s regions, especially considering supply scarcity and rising interest rates have constructed tough buying conditions in these locations.
“Programs like these must be implemented in tandem with the National Plan for Housing, which must focus on building more houses in Australia’s regions and stamp duty reforms that would help address affordability,” he said.
Mr Groves’ welcoming sentiments were shared by NAB, with the big four stating it was “looking forward to helping even more Australians buy their very own home”.
Andy Kerr, NAB executive of home ownership, anticipates the program will receive strong demand for places, adding that the scheme will be crucial in making the “green change” trend birthed by the pandemic “a more permanent one for many”.
“Our latest data shows us that clearly regional areas remain appealing for first home buyers. Locations like Sunbury in Victoria, Dapto in New South Wales or Bunbury in Western Australia continue to be hotspots for first home buyers,” he said.
Building on the commendation, Ken Morrison, chief executive officer of the Property Council of Australia (PCA), believes targeted support for first home buyers living in regional Australia increases the likelihood of home ownership, especially in the face of rising prices and consequential rising deposits.
“Bridging the deposit gap is a significant problem for first-time home buyers, and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee scheme is a well-designed scheme that will assist eligible home buyers enter the market.
“The expansion of the Home Guarantee Scheme to support regional buyers will make it easier for more Australians to secure their dream of home ownership and is a welcomed initiative,” he concluded.
The RFHBG launch has coincided with Domain’s throwing of support behind the Regional Australia Institute’s (RAI) “Move to More”, which looks to entice metropolitan Australians to migrate to the regions. Domain revealed that keyword searches for “regional” have increased by 57 per cent over the course of 2022.
Article source: www.realestatebusiness.com.au