Prospective first home buyers welcome super savings incentive

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Budget measures aimed at helping young people buy a home have been backed by prospective buyers spoken to by the ABC in Perth and Melbourne.

The Government plans to let aspiring first-home buyers put up to $30,000 in their super accounts, saving on tax until they are ready to use the money for a deposit.

Perth personal trainer Corey Green said it was “a fantastic idea”.

The 29-year-old part-owns Athletic Institute, a gym 25 kilometres north of the city, and said while Perth’s housing market had cooled recently, it remained out of his reach.

“Although housing prices have come down, so has business,” he said.

“When you’re in business money can vary from week to week — especially when it’s your own business — if you can salary sacrifice a certain amount, then it’s almost forced savings for you,” he said.

On the other side of the country, 32-year-old finance worker Hugh McCormack has been trying to buy a house in Melbourne’s overheated market.

He said he liked the superannuation savings idea too, and was happy the Government was not letting young people raid their existing super accounts for a deposit.

“Doing that would be a very bad idea … that’s meant to be for your retirement,” he said.

He said he was also interested in a plan to turn surplus Defence land at Maribyrnong, 10 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, into a new suburb.

“It definitely would be an option to go a bit further out — I don’t think 10 kilometres is too far out. Hopefully when they release this land they make sure that there’s increased density, so they can fit more people in.”

Mark and Sharn Edwards have also been searching for their first home together in Melbourne.

It has been a frustrating journey for the past 12 months.

“We just keep getting priced out,” Mrs Edwards said.

They described the federal budget as a “slight positive” for first-home buyers, and said the superannuation plan could help people just starting to save.

“I think for us at this point because we have our deposit for what we could afford and what we want to spend, we’re ready to go, so it’s not a huge help for us particularly just now,” Mrs Edwards said.

The pair wasn’t concerned about any possibility of the plan driving prices higher, saying all first-home buyers would be on the same footing and it was investors they struggled to compete against.

Mr Edwards said he would have liked to see changes to negative gearing in the budget.

“When you are going against someone who’s looking at getting their fourth or fifth investment property to rent it out to someone and we’re just still trying to find our first house so we can live in it, it does make it quite difficult without any changes happening to that,” Mr Edwards said.

But buyers’ advocate Sam Lally — a 20-year real estate industry veteran — said the Government’s superannuation measures could simply push prices up.

“You give people more money, they’re just going to spend it,” he said.

“I believe these measures are just going to fuel the market.”

However, Mr Lally said he supported tax incentives to encourage older Australians to downsize their home.

“I thought they were good, but again it depends on where the property is and what they’re downsizing from,” he said.

“I think more measures need to be put in place to free up land.”



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