Help to Buy scheme set to get more people into a home

Thousands of Australians looking to buy a home and struggling with affordability will soon get more government help, with the introduction of the Help to Buy scheme.

The scheme, which will be introduced to parliament this week, will mean 40,000 eligible homebuyers will be able to purchase a property with the Federal Government making an equity contribution of up to 40 per cent for new homes and 30 per cent for existing homes.

Homebuyers will need a minimum 2 per cent deposit to participate in the scheme and will have lower ongoing repayments while they participate in the scheme, providing long‑term relief. 

States will also need to pass their own legislation for the program to operate across the country.

Help to Buy will start in the Northern Territory and ACT following passage of Commonwealth legislation.

All states agreed at National Cabinet to move the legislation forward so it’s expected the scheme will run nationally from next year. 

Minister for Housing, Julie Collins said the scheme aimed to make housing achievable for all.

“Right across the country Help to Buy will be life-changing, bringing home ownership back into reach for thousands of Australians, particularly renters,” Ms Collins said.

“It won’t just be a leg up into home ownership with savings from a smaller deposit – it will provide long‑term relief to Australians who are part of the scheme.  

“In fact, Help to Buy could help eligible new homeowners save hundreds every month on their mortgage.”

HIA Managing Director, Jocelyn Martin said government schemes helped home buyers.

“While the opportunity to own a home can be challenging, and the type of homes many families aspire to are changing shape, previous research conducted by HIA shows an overwhelming majority of Australians agree that home ownership matters,” Ms Martin said.

 “These and other forms of housing incentive programs are critical to boost housing supply and home ownership rates to support first home buyers raising the deposit more quickly and easily.”

She said grants such as Help to Buy, were effective in getting people into their own homes, and new housing supply would also be stimulated.

“HIA has been a strong supporter of assistance for first home buyers, to help get Australians into their first home and achieve their home ownership aspirations,” she said.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.