First home buyers on the Tweed are not in any rush to buy homes.
First home buyers on the Tweed are not in any rush to buy homes. Vicki Wood

End of stamp duty exemption: Govt

FIRST home buyers on the Tweed are not rushing to buy homes after the NSW Government announced the end of stamp duty exemption despite promising signs elsewhere in the state.

For properties under $500,000, first home buyers in NSW currently are exempted from paying stamp duty but as of next year only new homes will attract the concessions.

A loan brokerage firm has reported a 90% increase in online enquiries from first home buyers after the NSW Government announced the decision to scrap the stamp duty exemption.

Aussie founder and executive chairman John Symond said the government decision to end the exemption at the end of the year had accelerated the buying process for many first home buyers.

"This decision has spurred many first home buyers into action and will bring forward many buyers who may have been waiting to see what happens with the economy," he said.

"While we may see a few months of action in this sector, it's likely to cause property sales in this sub $500,000 range next year to slow down."

Homeloans Tweed Heads principal Neil McLean said he had not noticed a surge in numbers of first homebuyers.

"None at all. It hasn't given even a ripple let alone a surge," Mr McLean said.

"It's disappointing particularly in the market where there would be properties available in their price bracket."

RAMS Tweed Heads principal John Lunney said he could not say for certain if the end of the stamp duty exemption was having an effect on numbers of first home buyers.

"We've had a fair bit of enquiry coming through but not sure if it's because of that," Mr Lunney said.

"It might be coming more off the advertising."

North Real Estate Agents director Lance Cotterill said he was expecting to see some movement soon.

"I haven't seen any movement yet but, frankly, if I was them I would.

"It's free money and once it's gone, it's gone. It's not likely to come back in a hurry," Mr Cotterill said.

"It's a good time for them to buy at the moment and the saving of stamp duty is a big saving because it is a lump when you buy."

HIA executive director for Gold Coast and Northern Rivers Colin Buttenshaw said there had been some activity reported from real estate companies.

"It hasn't translated to new homes even though we believe that expanding that benefit to people aged under 55 is a step in the right direction," he said.

"NSW has been consistently under building so the government is on the right track."

Mr Buttenshaw said the announcement came at a time when NSW building commencements were down 20% in June.

"We've got some great developments coming on board in northern rivers but what has been fairly steady is renovations.

"It's only been down 2% (that means people want) to stay at home and put in additional rooms," he said.

"That's a good sign."

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