Buying your first home is hard. Getting a deposit together requires saving tens of thousands of dollars, which is difficult for anyone on an average income – let alone Canberrans who have insufficient or insecure work.
When we think about who first home buyers are, often people picture a young couple with no kids yet, looking to buy somewhere relatively close to one of our town centres where there’s entertainment, food and good coffee.
In this city there are many first home buyers who fit that description, but there are plenty of others who don’t: like single mums who’ve rented their whole lives; migrant families who’ve worked hard in low-income sectors for years; and single older people who’ve never been in a financial position to buy a home before.
As of 1 July, we have fully abolished stamp duty for eligible first home buyers, regardless of whether they want to buy a newly-built home or an existing property in an older suburb.
Abolishing stamp duty helps all these first home buyers by cutting thousands of dollars off the upfront cost of buying a home.
Some of these first home buyers don’t have another two, five or 10 years to wait to save up that money – they’ve already been working towards home ownership for a long time.
And it makes sense that they would be, as the saving on a $650,000 home is as much as $17,880 for these home buyers.
Giving all of these buyers a hand-up into home ownership is a good thing, but it’s particularly important for people who are on low or fixed incomes who don’t fit the picture of the stereotypical first home buyer.