Buyers snap up Warrnambool and district homes before grant ends

HOUSES around Warrnambool are being snapped up by first-home buyers eager to pocket government cash before the grant runs out at the end of the month.

Prospective buyers are hoping to save thousands by purchasing property before the first home buyers’ grant finishes but are also moving settlements to July to take advantage of a 40 per cent discount on stamp duty.

South West Convey-ancing director Alistair McKean said sales had doubled this month for existing homes, compared to July last year.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in first home buyers to get the $7000 first home owners grant while it’s still there,” Mr McKean said.

“We’ve already got 12 settlements for July, which is about double what we would normally have.

“They’re signing the contracts and settling in July so they can get the discount on the stamp duty.”

Mr McKean said one purchaser stood to save $2000 because he had moved his settlement date to July.

Meanwhile, those planning to build could pick up $10,000 when another grant kicks in next month.

News of increased activity in the market comes after Warrnambool City Council unveiled its affordable housing scheme in a bid to stimulate growth in Dennington north.

“That’s thrown a real curve ball, we’ve seen no action on that other than it being sold to the builders,” Mr McKean said.

Ray White selling principal Jess Densley said the timeframe had created incentives for first home buyers and investors.

“There’s definitely an increase in activity,” Mr Densley said.

“First home buyers are getting a double kick along, it’s a good saving for them.”

Lower interest rates have also stirred interest from first home buyers and investors, he said.

“We’re probably seeing more investors.”

But he added that sales last year were still 30 per cent behind where they were two years before.

Grants, he warned, can also create a “false economy” during tough times.

Follow The Standard on Twitter Prospective buyers are rushing to complete housing purchases before the first home owners grant comes to a close at the end of the month.

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