ONE of the recommendations the REIV has presented as part of its pre-Budget submission is that the State Government should examine making the first-home buyers' grant available to first-time property buyers irrespective of whether the property is for owner occupation or investment.
By removing the stipulation that homebuyers must live in the purchased property in order to qualify for government assistance, an extended group of first-property buyers would be free to buy investment properties.
These properties would subsequently be added to the current rental stock, which is seriously depleted, particularly in the affordable segment of the rental market.
This initiative would help stimulate investment in the construction and building industry at a time when the sector needs a lift in demand.
Bringing forward homebuyer help that the recipient would have received at a later date will increase the supply of property and help ease the tight rental market.
The housing market cannot escape the pressures the economy will face during the next financial year. With the first-home owners' boost set to finish soon the government has an opportunity to introduce an initiative that will help ease the strains on the rental market.