First-home buyers told to build or miss out on first-home buyers grant. Source : Brisbane Times.

The $7000 first home buyers’ grant will be axed in favour of a boost for the ailing construction industry, the government has revealed.

In tomorrow’s budget, the Newman government will scrap the current First Home Owner Grant and replace it with a $15,000 handout to first-time buyers purchasing off-the-plan or newly-constructed properties.

First-time buyers, who purchase an established property, will still qualify for the $7000 grant if they sign contracts by October 11.

But the re-shaped First Home Owner Construction Grant will kick-in on September 12 for properties valued up to $750,000.

Premier Campbell Newman said the government had responded to industry concerns in “changing” the original First Home Owner Grant.

“The Master Builders Association has lobbied on behalf of the sector for changes to the grant and the Government has responded in a constructive way,” he said.

“This First Home Owner Construction Grant will provide a targeted and sustainable injection of confidence to the construction sector.

“The previous Labor government’s Building Boost scheme was a short-term sugar hit which benefited property investors outside of Queensland.”

More than 5400 First Home Owner Grants were paid in Queensland in the June quarter, compared with 4000 in the same period in 2011.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the government had already wiped up to $7,000 off the cost of buying a home by reinstating the principal place of residence transfer duty concession.

The Property Council of Australia had called upon Mr Nicholls to undertake a wide-ranging review of state stamp duty for off-the-plan residential sales and the land tax surcharge, in the hope the LNP’s first budget will reinvigorate the embattled property and construction sector.

However, at a Property Council of Australia luncheon last week, Mr Newman remained coy when asked about the possible extension of stamp duty concessions to Queenslanders buying house and land packages.

The changes:

$15,000 for first home buyers of new and off-the-plan properties applies from September 12
$7000 grant for first home buyers of existing properties to be scrapped from October 12
New $15,000 grant applies to newly constructed homes, or properties bought off the plan

To be eligible, first home buyers must:

Make the property the principal place of residence within one year of taking ownership and live there for at least six months
Not sell the property within a year of moving in
Buy or build at a property worth less than $750,000.

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