First Home Buyer's Grant needs rework – Builders

The Building Revival Forum scheduled for tomorrow is expected to raise the need for an increase to the first-home owners grant for buyers of new homes in order to revive the dying First Home Buyer market.

Industry will also seek a commitment from the State Government to significantly reduce stamp duty for off-the-plan purchase contracts and the introduction of legislation banning termination of contracts for minor technical reasons.

The forum, was called last year by Premier Anna Bligh and is to be held at the State Library.

It comes as new data shows building approvals hit a three-decade low last month, while thousands of jobs have been lost and activity has slumped as credit dries up with consumer appetite for property.

The State Government’s own discussion paper for the forum acknowledges issues such as infrastructure charges were “affecting the viability of some developments”.

Premier Bligh and Deputy Premier Paul Lucas will both address the one-day event, which the sector has pinned its hopes on to help boost activity.

Paul Bidwell representing Master Builders Association has said that stamp duty concessions and a targeted first-home owners grant were among the initiatives his organisation was hoping to address.

“Initiatives Master Builders will raise include the removal of the mandatory requirement for rainwater tanks in new houses in urban areas, particularly in north Queensland and more flexible plumbing and building inspections,” he said.

Master Builders Associating would like to see the First Home Owners Grant limited to new construction only, introducing stamp duty concessions, planning reforms that free up land supply and decrease approval times, and a 12-month moratorium on all new regulations.”

Similarly, the state Urban Development Institute of Australia said it wanted to see development applications processes fast-tracked.

In its submission to the forum, the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Queensland division argued for stamp duty to completely eliminated for off-the-plan sales in order to promote greater demand for new properties.

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