THE state government's new rules governing first home buyer grants would disadvantage young couples seeking to buy established homes in Lake Macquarie, a local real estate agent said this week.
From October 1, the first home owner grant (new home) scheme will provide $15,000 to eligible first home buyers to purchase or build a new home.
But the existing $7000 grant to buy either a new or established home will be scrapped.
And at the end of 2011, the stamp duty exemption for the purchase of both new and established homes was also removed.
This concession generally ranged from between $10,000 and $12,000, dependent on the value of the home.
So, in a double whammy, young first home buyers seeking to buy an existing home will now have to save an additional $15,000 to $20,000 before purchase.
As a further incentive for buyers, from July 1, the stamp duty exemption cap on new homes increased to $550,000, and on vacant land to $350,000.
Morisset's Lawson Property Sales and Management proprietor Ben Lawson said the removal of both the $7000 grant and stamp duty exemption would impact on established home purchases.
"While the government's budget has stimulated the new homes building industry the changes are a double-edged sword," Mr Lawson said.
"Comparable established homes are generally cheaper than new ones, which quite often are priced individually between $350,000 to $400,000 in this locality.
"So, the changed first home buyer grants are great for the building industry and new home sales but tougher for young couples wanting to buy an established home because the affordability level has declined."
L J Hooker's Toronto, Rathmines and Wangi Wangi franchise owner Paul Campbell said first home buyers would be encouraged to purchase an existing property before the October 1 deadline so they could take advantage of the existing grant.
"In the long term, this can only be seen as good news for the property market as its gets people thinking about becoming property owners," he said.