From today, the Queensland First Home Buyer Grant will be doubled, taking the total to $30,000.
The grant applies for the purchase or construction of new property, provided the value is less than $750,000, and will be available until 30 June 2025.
Eligible Queenslanders are expected to be able to apply for the increased grant from the first week of next year.
More than 24,000 first home buyers took advantage of the previous $15,000 grant, and the Palaszczuk Government estimate this increase will help a further 12,000 Queenslanders own property.
The $30,000 grant is triple the $10,000 offered by the respective governments of New South Wales and Victoria.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says this move is part of the "largest cost of living relief package anywhere in the nation."
"I want to see home ownership rates continue to rise, which is why our government is stepping up to lend a helping hand," she said.
However, Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley says that with newly built properties making up just 2% of housing stock, the policy change isn't in the best interests of first home buyers.
"When someone is in the market to buy a property, they should always be encouraged to make a well informed decision by reviewing 100% of their options," he said.
"If governments really want to help homebuyers, provide the grant without placing handcuffs on it."
Cody Howley, a 25 year old currently looking to buy his first home in Brisbane, said he wasn't particularly excited by the announcement.
"We're looking for an established build we can move into quickly," he told Savings.com.au.
"We haven't spotted too many vacant blocks in the suburbs we're interested in."
The Sunshine State delivered an operating budget surplus of $13.93 billion in 2022-23, the largest ever surplus recorded by an Australian state or territory.
Ms Palaszczuk said this was attributed to the state's coal royalties tax, which is where the extra funds for the extended grant will come from.
Adding demand when there is little supply
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick says now is the right time to up the grant, with "evidence that there is some capacity emerging in housing construction."
Swelling costs and high interest rates have kept construction subdued throughout 2023.
According to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), lending for the construction or purchase of new property is at the lowest point in 20 years, while the volume of new house approvals is also at decade lows.
HIA Chief Economist Tim Reardon called the RBA's November rate hike "unnecessary", and predicted it would cause "further contraction" in new home building.
There are some signs costs might be moderating, with CoreLogic's Construction cost index growing 0.5% in from July through September, the lowest quarterly growth since June 2019.
However, CoreLogic Construction Cost Estimation Manager, John Bennett, said cost pressures might be shifting from materials to labour.
"Award rates have increased more than 5% across the construction industry, coming in higher than previous years," he said.
The HIA New Home Sales Report for October 2023 shows new home sales are low and continue to decline across the nation.
In Queensland, new home sales rose 10.8% in October, but remain 15% below the same time in 2022.
Picture by Jasper Bennet on Unsplash
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