AT 23, Kristy Begbie never thought she and her partner would be in a position to own a home, but a $20,000 first homeowners grant, plus a cut to stamp duty has made that a reality.
Ms Begbie is one of hundreds of Ballarat residents who has had the dream of owning their home come true.
“We thought this would have taken us a lot longer, but for all the grants and everything that we’ve brought in has made it a reality,” Ms Begbie said.
“My partner and I are both 23 and we’ve worked hard to possibly build our own home.
“I never thought we would be able to own at such a young age, we thought it would take at least a 10 year plan, but it’s come true a lot earlier than we expected.”
Ms Begbie is among the 726 first homebuyers who have bought in Ballarat and nearby regions since July 1 last year.
State wide, the doubling of the First Home Owner Grant in regional Victoria has also seen 2440 buyers receive the $20,000 First Home Owner Grant – a saving of more than $48 million for regional Victorians.
The State Government has also cut stamp duty for properties under $600,000, saving millions for first homebuyers.
Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said in Ballarat alone that meant first home buyers had saved nearly $7.5 million. Those same people have saved an estimated $5.5 million due to the first homeowners grant.
“After a year of operation our stamp duty exemption reforms are saving Victorians thousands of dollars and helping more first home buyers break into the housing market,” Ms Pulford said.
“The increased First Home Owners Grant for regional Victoria has doubled the number of applicants, encouraging young people to live in, and move to, regional Victoria.”
Hocking Stuart estate agent Matt Wiltshire said about half of those who had taken up the grant within Ballarat had moved from Melbourne.
“The market over the past 12 months has been incredibly hot and it’s a real mix of first home buyers and investors and those with second and third homes,” he said.
“The good thing about the grants is that it means first home buyers can be on the front foot and be competitive in the market.
“By saving that amount, it means they can go higher and can keep up with the investors which is a big help for them.”