First home buyers in the Hunter now have more incentive to buy a house under the state government’s new housing affordability package.

Announced last week by Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald, the reforms will see stamp duty abolished for first home buyers on properties up to $650,000 and a discount on properties up to $800,000.

However, Executive Director of the Housing Industry Association in the Hunter Craig Jennion says in some aspects of the package, the government may giveth what they may taketh away.

“The intention to, in the next couple of years, increase the cost of infrastructure back to the developer taking away from subsidies the state government had been providing, our concerns are that the state government is handing out to first home buyers in one level and giving them a discount, but in a couple of years time that discount maybe actually removed because of the increase in infrastructure costs,” in the form of an infrastructure levy.

Scot MacDonald believes the government has found a ‘sweet spot’ for the Hunter where housing is available at a lower price and the package could really be of benefit. Savings could reach more than $20,000 and he says it just makes buying a house all that more attractive.

“Ontop of that we will also be abolishing the insurance duty on lenders, mortgage insurance. This is aimed fairly and squarely right at people trying to get into the housing market for the first time,” said Scot MacDonald.

“We acknowledge that is a step in the right direction particularly for regional locations like the hunter where we do have a great diversity and price points for first home buyers so in most cases first home buyers should very easily be able to purchase a home and pay no stamp duty,” said Craig Jennion.