Good news for property developers and those who want to see residential construction activity increase. The NSW government will offer larger cash incentives, up to $35,000 for people buying new houses from October. The first home owner’s grant will be for new homes only, but will increase from $7,000 to $15,000. On top of that there will be extra stamp duty concessions for first home buyers for purchases up to $650,000, but phasing out progressively from $550,000. A grant of $5,000 for non-first home buyers of new houses worth up to $650,000 or vacant land up to $450,000 will also be introduced. There won’t be any incentives for buyers of existing homes.
And taking a closer look at house prices. The March quarter recorded a slight increase in median prices for residential property according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia, but it does depend on what periods you’re comparing. The weighted average capital city median price increased by 0.6 per cent for houses and by 0.4 per cent for other dwellings when compared to the December quarter. The weighted average median house price for the eight capital cities is $520,000. All capital cities except Adelaide and Hobart contributed to the increase for the quarter. The largest increase in house prices was in Darwin, up 6.6 per cent to $550,000. Sydney has the highest median house price across capital cities at $641,000. But if you compare prices to the March quarter of the previous year house prices actually fell 2.9 per cent and other dwellings dropped by half a per cent. Comparing this year’s March quarter to last year, Melbourne was the only capital city to record an increase in house prices, 0.9 per cent, and Sydney was the only capital to record an increase in other dwellings, an increase of 1.5 per cent.
And a quick reminder - as June 30 approaches now might be the time to consider paying some investment property expenses in advance, before the end of the financial year. There are a range of deductible expenses including body corporate fees, agent fees and travel costs to inspections, for example. It might even be a good time to bring forward maintenance and repairs – but you’d better be quick.