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REIQ Journal : October 2008
10 Industry News Financial relief for home buyers in Queensland In the 2008-09 State Budget Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser announced a number of State tax reforms targeted primarily at first home buyers to help them enter the Queensland housing market. The first of these changes took effect on 1 July 2008 and included: The most important gift of all Agents in Cairns, Townsville, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane are reminded that the 2008 Foster Child Christmas Present drive is now under way. Child Safety Minister Margaret Keech and the REIQ are encouraging staff from REIQ accredited agencies to buy one extra Christmas gift this year and donate it to children and young people in care. “This is more than a present; this is reminding children they really are loved and cared for; truly important feelings that help them grow into happy adults,” Mrs Keech said. All you need to do is buy a small gift and mark the age and sex of the child who it would be appropriate for. Gifts can be dropped off at any Child Safety Service Centre on the Gold Coast, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Cairns or Brisbane. You can also leave your gift at your local REIQ training centre. REIQ chairman Peter McGrath said he was pleased to see such a successful initiative expanded this year. “The REIQ encourages everyone to take part in the present drive, which will help make a difference in the lives of some 7,500 foster children living in Queensland.” REIQ Journal October 2008 The abolition of mortgage duty – providing home borrowers with savings of $0.20 per $100 borrowed; An extension of the transfer duty concession rate of 1 per cent for home buyers, from $320,000 to $350,000 – saving up to $1,050; and The first home transfer duty concession increasing from $320,000 to $350,000, with no duty payable on first homes up to a value of $350,000. From 1 September 2008, first home buyers received an added benefit of an increased first home transfer duty concession, with no duty payable on property up to $500,000. The increased concession provides savings of up to $8,750 and gives first home buyers more options when exploring the housing market. In the Treasurer’s 2008-09 budget speech he said, “Scores of younger Queenslanders have been locked out of the property market simply because it has risen beyond their reach. Housing affordability cannot be solved by any one act of government but this government can assist and it will.” With these recent changes, and with the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) funded by the federal government, the State Government is providing greater opportunity for more Queenslanders to realise their dream of owning a home. On 29 August 2008, the Office of State Revenue (OSR) launched firsthomebuyers.qld.gov.au – a purposebuilt website for home buyers. This site is aimed at raising home buyer awareness of the improvements to housing affordability in Queensland by bringing together all the relevant information on home concessions and the FHOG. A press and radio advertising campaign over September was used to promote the new website to home buyers.