New Proposal Gives First-Home Buyers a Boost: West End at the Forefront

First-home buyers
Drake St, West End (Photo credit: Google Street View)

A proposed policy could reshape the landscape for first-home buyers by allowing them to rent out rooms in their newly purchased homes and potentially easing the financial burden of mortgages. 

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Queensland’s opposition leader, David Crisafulli, has unveiled this proposal that would axe stamp duty for home buyers building their first property. If implemented, it could also offer a unique solution to Brisbane’s housing affordability crisis.

This initiative could have a significant impact on areas like West End, known for its eclectic mix of residents, including young professionals and university students.

Photo credit: Google Street View

West End, with its proximity to the CBD and major universities, has long been a hotspot for renters. The median asking rent for a two-bedroom unit in Greater Brisbane currently stands at $620 per week, whilst a three-bedroom house commands $595. These figures, based on Domain, underscore the potential financial relief this policy could offer to both homeowners and renters.

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Photo credit: Google Street View

The policy’s impact could be particularly pronounced in West End due to its unique demographic makeup. The suburb’s popularity among students attending nearby universities and young professionals working in the city centre makes it an ideal location for implementing such a scheme.

However, the proposal is not without its critics. Karl Yesberg of Ray White Brisbane City argues that whilst the policy offers opportunities for first-home buyers, it may not significantly alter the market dynamics. He points to a more fundamental issue: the lack of available properties for sale in Brisbane.

Dr Nicola Powell, Domain’s chief of research and economics, suggests the policy could have three main effects: improving market access for first-home buyers, providing more rental options, and potentially putting pressure on an already tight Queensland property market.

For West End, this could mean a surge in young homeowners entering the market, potentially altering the suburb’s character and community makeup. It could also lead to increased competition for properties in this already sought-after area, as more first-home buyers see an opportunity to enter the market with the added incentive of rental income.

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Whilst the long-term impacts remain to be seen, one thing is clear: if implemented, this policy could mark a significant shift in how young Australians approach homeownership, particularly in desirable inner-city areas like West End. As the debate continues, all eyes will be on this Brisbane suburb as a potential model for addressing housing challenges in urban areas across Queensland.

Published 4-July-2024