First home buyers will be helped into the property market with more than $1 billion of stamp duty concessions and measures to level the playing field with investors under reforms unveiled by Premier Gladys Berejiklian to tackle housing affordability.
But the NSW government is being criticised for an absence of measures to boost the construction of affordable housing for low and medium-income key workers such as nurses, teachers and police.
Under the package announced on Thursday, first home buyers of existing and new properties costing up to $650,000 will be exempt from paying stamp duty from July 1.
This lifts the value of eligible properties from the existing $550,000 and reintroduces existing homes to the existing scheme.
Buyers of first homes worth between $650,000 and $800,000 will receive stamp duty discounts.
This lifts the current price range for eligibility from between $550,000 and $650,000 and again reintroduces existing homes to the scheme.
The changes to stamp duty concessions are estimated to deliver savings of up to $24,740 for a first home buyer in NSW.
As well, the 9 per cent stamp duty charged on lenders’ mortgage insurance – often required by banks lending to first home buyers with small deposits – will be abolished.
To help first home buyers compete with investors, stamp duty concessions for properties bought off the plan will be removed, the $5000 new home grant scheme abolished and the ability for investors to defer payment of stamp duty for 12 months axed.
However, a tighter eligibility criteria for the existing $10,000 first home owner grant, while the grant will remain available to first home owners building a house worth up to $750,000, the eligibility cap for those buying a new home drops from $750,000 to $600,000.