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Increasing home prices are a barrier to those trying to purchase a home, with the rate of home ownership in Australia declining, particularly amongst younger people.
Saving a deposit that meets the requirements of lenders, including the cost of upfront transaction taxes, is the biggest barrier to those aspiring to buy their own home.
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) is an Australian Government initiative that has supported thousands of first home buyers to build or buy their first home sooner.
Operating alongside new home building grants, the FHLDS and New Home Guarantee has contributed to first home buyer activity reaching historic highs in late 2020 and early 2021. While it is a positive outcome, improvement needs to be sustained in the years to come.
The FHLDS is currently capped at 10,000 places per year which is only around 10 per cent of the first home buyer market. Expanding the FHLDS in order to maintain the high levels of first home buyer participation is a real opportunity.
Most people who buy a home remain home owners throughout their lives, however some encounter hardship and are forced to exit home ownership. Identifying ways to support a person to re-enter home ownership is an equal challenge for thousands of Australians and deserves attention. The Family Home Guarantee has offered a useful first step in addressing this cohort of home seekers but more could be done.
Make raising the rate of home ownership among those aged under 40 a specific goal of the next National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.
Expand the FHLDS by uncapping the number of places available and maintain the New Home Guarantee and Family Home Guarantee places.
Introduce fiscal support measures that can assist households re-enter home ownership. This could be through enabling conditional access to superannuation savings or expanding the FHLDS to non-home owners.
Investigate the viability of a shared equity scheme to enable low income households to purchase a home.