Dream now a nightmare

THE great Aussie dream of home ownership is increasingly out of reach due to stamp duty concession cuts, according to a local real estate agent.

Chris Hines says the State Government's decision to abolish the stamp duty exemption for first home buyers unless they purchase a brand new home is unworkable.

The change, announced in Tuesday's Budget, comes in on January 1.

"At present the average first home buyer is probably spending anywhere between $280,000 and $350,000 to purchase, that would mean stamp duty of between $8290 and $11,240," said Mr Hines, the principal/licensee of Unrealestate Coffs Coast.

"That is now additional funds that kids need to save before they can buy their first home, and let me tell you, there aren't a lot of them at the moment, purely because they can't afford it.

"While we applaud the attempts to get the building industry moving again, the change takes into account the metropolitan markets more than the regional markets.

"The trouble is land prices and building prices, especially in regional areas, put this dream out of reach of your average first home buyer."

The Real Estate Institute of NSW says the cuts won't improve housing affordability.

"This is really disappointing news for families, essential workers and all those trying to buy their first home," said REINSW president Wayne Stewart.

"And in the broader context when the storm clouds are gathering over the global economic outlook, (the) decision is troubling.

"Australia weathered the last global financial crisis because the property market was invigorated yet those lessons have been ignored . . .".

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