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NSW: Heartache for first home buyers



The scrapping of first home buyer’s grants for existing properties and the removal of stamp duty concessions are forcing many young couples to put their lives on hold.  Ms Ghittino, 28, and her husband Darryl Gardiner, 30, have been actively looking for a home to purchase for the last 18 months in the Sutherland Shire, a community they currently call home with six year old son Tyson.


First home buyer frustrations

“We are ready to buy, as we worked hard to save the initial deposit for a house. However, we have been restricted by the lack of stamp duty and the grant assistance, which was available to all first home buyers prior to the change last year,” Kate Ghittino said.

“Since the changes to the first home buyers grant, we have juggled our personal finances and life as a family to come up with an extra $25,000 to pay the stamp duty.

“Despite this we are still only half way there,” Ms Ghittino said.

“If it weren’t for the cuts to first home owners grant for existing dwellings and the abolishment of stamp duty concessions we would have been able to purchase a home by now, but instead we are still in the dire position of juggling private rental, savings and a family.”

Mr Gardiner is frustrated by the lack of control they have in regard to purchasing a property.

“We get so close and the situation changes. Prices have been creeping up, so you think you are almost there and then it is out of reach again.

“Kate and I are not setting the bar high, we are looking for a modest three-bedroom home so we can extend our family and do some renovations,” Mr Gardiner said.

“We started with a budget of $550,000 but due to price rises over the last 12 to 18 months we have had to increase it to between $580,000 and $600,000. Despite this increase it is very difficult to find something suitable.

Caringbah, where we are renting, is out of our price range, so we are looking for something in Jannali or Kareela which is within a 10 minute radius of where we are now.”

 

More support needed

REINSW President Christian Payne said Kate and Darryl were just one example of a large number of young people who are putting their lives on hold because of changes to the first home buyers grant.

“If a professional couple like Kate and Darryl, who both work for a government health care agency, are unable to bridge the gap in order to purchase a property, it clearly demonstrates that there is a fundamental problem.

“It is time for this nonsense to stop. Kate and Darryl should be given the support they need to purchase a property. They don’t have unreasonable expectations and they would have purchased a property some time ago if not for sudden changes made the first home buyers grant by the NSW government last year. They need incentives to help them purchase a property and they should not have to pay stamp duty,” Mr Payne said.