A scene from the boom times …
By ERWIN CHLANDA
The real estate market is “crashing and burning” at least in part because of the NT Government’s restriction of its grants for new home buyers to new dwellings.
This is the view of a prominent local real estate agent who spoke to the Alice Springs News Online on the condition of not being named.
A second one, Eli Melky, says this firm, Golden Homes, has so far this year received just one application under the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme.
In the last quarter of 2014, when the grant was available for existing homes as well, he had about 15 applications.
As of January 1 FHOG provides $26,000 for new homes, nothing for for established homes.
Until December 31 established homes in the urban area qualified for $12,000, and elsewhere for $25,000.
Mr Melky says he is now making a resolute bid for more market share, employing six new staff, “to fight for the scraps”.
Industry sources say the changes to the grants play into the hands of builders and developers of new homes, while vendors of existing homes are disadvantaged.
First home buyers are copping a double whammy: Cutting out part of the grant scheme on December 31 may be an incentive to increase the price of new homes.
Mr Melky says it seems Chief Minister Adam Giles is giving the new Kilgariff suburb – a pet project of his – a shot in the arm as buyer interest in that development is less keen than anticipated.
The News has asked the government for its latest NT Land and Property Transfer Report. So far the Registrar General is denying us access to it.
[We are seeking further comment and are likely to be updating this report tomorrow.]