Page 3130 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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valued at half a million dollars—around the average in this city at the moment—is saving $3,400 today on what they would have paid a little over 18 months ago before the reforms started.

Another initiative the government has put in place to boost housing affordability is the homebuyer concession scheme, which provides discounts on conveyance duty for new homes. This scheme has been expanded for the second year in a row. The eligibility has been widened. The household income threshold increased to $160,000. The value at which a property can attract the full concession has gone up to $425,000, an increase of $45,000, and the partial concession continues right up to $525,000.

This means that a household with an income of $160,000 that buys a new home up to $425,000 will pay just $20—just $20—in conveyance duty. If they are able and eligible to be purchasing their first home using the first home owners grant, that increases from $7,000 to $12,500 from 1 September. The combined impact of the stamp duty saving and the first home owners grant boost puts around $25,000 into the pocket of a first homebuyer in this city.

The government is also a very strong supporter of the national rental affordability scheme. The construction of 2,500 affordable rental dwellings in the ACT is being supported by this scheme. We have been one of the most successful jurisdictions in the country in accessing NRAS incentives; 6.6 per cent of all incentives issued nationally have been issued in the territory, more than three times our population entitlement. This is because this government has supported universities, community housing providers and private sector organisations to access this important commonwealth scheme.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, how will these measure also help to boost the construction sector in the ACT?

MR BARR: These measures go to encouraging the construction of new dwellings in the territory. Combined with the land release program, the urban renewal program the government has in place and the transformation of the Northbourne Avenue corridor through the capital metro project, we will see tremendous opportunity for new residential construction in this city. It is a real boost to the construction sector. Those who speak on behalf of the construction industry and, indeed, the real estate industry welcomed these policy changes as “a positive direction by the government that should stimulate activity in the housing market.”

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, in relation to the current level of affordability and housing activity in the ACT—

MADAM SPEAKER: Preamble, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: have there been any reports detailing how we are tracking?

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