The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has labelled the LNP’s promise to lift the first-home buyer stamp duty threshold as lacking substance without naming a figure.
Earlier this week, State Opposition Leader David Crisafulli pledged his party would, if elected, lift the threshold and exempt first-time buyers from paying thousands of dollars in stamp duty.
But he refused to say what the new threshold would be, insisting that it would be costed and announced closer to the State Election in October.
Currently, first-home buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty if they buy a property worth under $500,000.
REIQ Chief Executive Officer Antonia Mercorella said the industry body had championed for the threshold to be lifted to reflect current day prices, and commended the State Opposition’s commitment to do exactly that.
She said the election commitment was a spark of hope for a generation of Queenslanders who felt home ownership was increasingly out of reach.
“Considering the relative affordability of housing in Queensland compared to the southern states, it’s quite concerning that home ownership levels in the Sunshine State are the lowest in the country,” Ms Mercorella said.
“There is a generation of Queenslanders out there who are disillusioned with rising property prices and interest rates, and feeling like they’re not able to realise the dream of home ownership.
“Many Queenslanders have proven they are able to meet their weekly rental payments and are confident that they can make the required mortgage repayments, it’s just the initial obstacle of coming up with the deposit and stamp duty upfront that feels impossible to tackle.
“This commitment to raise the stamp duty concession threshold would help bring back confidence to first home buyers by reducing one of the initial financial obstacles standing in the way of them getting onto the property ladder.”
But Ms Mercorella said more detail on what the new threshold would be was desperately needed.
“While this is a promising announcement by the State Opposition, to give this commitment substance, we would like to see them name a number for the revised threshold.”
Earlier this week the Queensland Government also announced it had bought another vacant former retirement village to house people in need.
The former Tanah Merah village will provide 124 homes for older Queenslanders in need – including single people, couples and small adult families.
The former retirement village is made up of 85 one-bedroom and 39 two-bedroom units, designed for independent living.
The purchase was funded through the government’s Housing Investment Fund, and the former retirement village will undergo some minor upgrades before welcoming the first residents by mid-year.
A community housing provider will also be appointed to provide on-site support to residents.
This property is the fifth former retirement village or aged care facility purchased or leased by the Queensland Government for use as social housing, following similar purchases and leases in Clayfield, Toowoomba, Redlands and Rothwell.
The purchase of the Tanah Merah property means the government will have delivered 265 homes for Queenslanders in need by purchasing or leasing former retirement villages and aged care facilities.
“While we get on with our Big Build, we’re also buying and leasing former hotels, motels and retirement villages to help more Queenslanders into a home sooner,” Queensland Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon said.
“We are leaving no stone unturned – we’ve increased capacity for pre-fab homes, opened a new QBuild centre to build houses, we’ve bought hotels, invested an historic $6 billion into social and affordable housing and unlocked land supply for the private housing market.”