Update: I was a little too quick on my judgement of the GCCC. It seems that this triple pass has actually been voted down 8-7 in this afternoon’s session. This may have been because on further inspection the new grant would have made the applicants ineligible for the latest state government grant. Either way the Mayor seems disappointed with the outcome. (h/t to AlexF for the update)
The Queensland treasurer in his wisdom has asked the council to reconsider its vote.
Like a boxer that doesn’t know when to stay on the canvas the Gold Coast city council is yet again trying to fire the engine of the politico-housing complex.
From today new buyers and builders can snap up a `triple dip’ of $25,000 in property grants as the Gold Coast prepares to become the most subsidised housing market in Australia.
Today the Gold Coast City Council will vote on incentive plan to give $5000 to new builders and $8000 to first-home buyers purchasing a newly-built property.
If approved this afternoon, first home buyers can pocket the payout on top of the State Government’s existing $7000 First Home Owners grant and the new $10,000 Building Boost which rolls out today for properties under $600,000.
The catch is that the offer is only good for six months — until January 31, 2012.
The building industry has welcomed the temporary `triple dip’ but not everyone is smiling.
The burden of funding the multi-million incentive plan will hit repeat buyers from today when stamp duty discounts are scrapped to pay for the scheme.
Non-first home buyers have been warned they could pay up to 30 per cent more in transfer duties, regardless of whether the property is owner-occupied or an investment.
The focus on stimulating entry level market also means no help is being offered to the city’s ailing luxury market which has been hammered by record price drops on multi-million properties.
Given that a potential new home builder could already get a first home buyers grant from the Federal government along with a new boost from the Queensland government, any rational person would have thought that this extra layer of stimulus was in response to a massive undersupply issue in the Gold Coast area. But who is rational these days ?
I do, however, have to thank the Gold Coast city council for providing a new litmus test to judge the public’s response to more stimulus for housing. Will we see a new response ? Or, is the patient dead on arrival? I will be watching.