REIV calls for FHB help

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Belinda Luc

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria has called for improved housing affordability, reduced business costs, increased supply of housing and more assistance for all first home buyers.

REIV chief executive officer Enzo Raimondo said housing affordability remains under extreme pressure and steps need to be taken to help buyers and renters.

“With the right policies the state government can improve housing affordability, particularly for first home buyers,” Mr Raimondo said.

“The first problem is stamp duty; home buyers are paying more in stamp duty than ever before.”

According to Mr Raimondo, ten years ago stamp duty on a median-priced house was $9,760, or 4.15 per cent of the purchase price. “Now it’s $28,970 or 5.13 per cent of the purchase price,” he said.

“The issue is not whether or not stamp duty should be charged – we agree with the state government that it should be eliminated – the issue is why Victorians have to pay more than they did 10 years ago.”

Mr Raimondo also said first home buyers are worse off than they were a decade ago, with the $7,000 government grant being an insufficient amount.

“While the grant has not increased, stamp duty has. As it stands, the first home buyer grant is simply a small down-payment on the stamp duty bill,” he said.

“Victoria should follow the lead of NSW, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and provide a 100 per cent discount on stamp duty”.

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