First-home owners will see a welcome rate relief in the first year of buying a home in Brisbane, with lord mayor Adrian Schrinner announcing a 50 per cent rate reduction, capped at $1000.
The announcement was made in Cr Schrinner’s first budget, handed down on Wednesday morning.
While announcing a 2.5 per cent rate increase, or an additional $40 per year, Cr Schrinner said the 50 per cent reduction would help first-home owners make it through a financially challenging time.
The rates remission will be implemented from October 1 this year, and will be available to any Australian citizen or permanent resident aged 18 years and over.
The initiative is expected to cost the council about $500,000 in the coming year. Council already provides pensioner rate remissions.
In his speech to the council chamber, Cr Schrinner said the council was giving residents relief “at a time when residents are often stretched to their financial limits”.
“Making the big move from renting to owning for the first time can be a stressful and costly experience,” Cr Schrinner said
“We recognise how important home ownership is and we want to see more people getting into the market and owning a piece of Brisbane to call their own.”
The home owner must also be prepared to sign a statutory declaration that they have never owned a home before, and must be buying or building a new or established house or apartment at a maximum value of $750,000.
The home owner must also live in the property for at least 12 months.
The Property Council of Queensland welcomed the announcement as part of the council’s budget aimed at easing housing pressures.
“This is a budget aimed at supporting residents and making our city an even better place to live,” Property Council Queensland executive director Chris Mountford, said.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said the initiative showed the council was paying attention to first home owners.
“While this is unlikely to encourage more young people to buy, it is commendable that council is offering support that will help young people with the bills,” she said.
“However, we would prefer to see more meaningful help from all levels of government that would actually help first home buyers get into their first home sooner.”
Ms Mercorella said buyer confidence in Queensland was at a “low ebb” and the institute would welcome more measures to stimulate confidence in the market.