FIRST home buyers in Dubbo, Bathurst and Orange have saved more than $9 million in stamp duty during the past 12 months, new data shows.
The NSW Government's First Home Buyers Scheme is designed to help get people into the housing market sooner.
In Orange, the initiative delivered more than $3.7 million during the 12-month period, which was the highest of the three cities, figures from the NSW Treasurer's office also show.
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At the same time, the $10,000 First Home Owner Grant delivered a total of $1,764,000 to buyers at Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst.
The First Home Buyers Scheme and the First Home Owner Grant are key planks in the NSW government's housing affordability package.
Pat Cutcliffe, principal of real estate agency The Professionals at Orange, said both measures were crucial.
"Young people are having great difficulty in being able to get that deposit together with the rise in prices and it just seems to be getting continually out of reach for them," he said.
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"Those two initiatives are critically important to giving them a bit of a leg up into the market."
The long-time realtor said there were challenges for first home buyers trying to enter the Orange market.
"There's a big shortage of property under that $400,000, $450,000 market where first home buyers are trying to get into the market," Mr Cutcliffe said.
Bathurst's One Agency Bestwick owner Mitchell Bestwick agreed the stamp duty exemption and grant were "essential".
"It's hard enough to save a deposit, let alone saving some more to be able to cover the stamp duty," he said.
The agent suggested there should also be a scheme for established houses.
There's a big shortage of property under that $400,000, $450,000 market where first home buyers are trying to get into the market.The Professionals Orange principal Pat Cutcliffe
"Having a smaller grant to complement those first home buyers who don't want to buy or build brand new, but want to enter the market at a more affordable price range," Mr Bestwick said.
"...maybe a few thousand dollars to allow them to do renovations initially or put some furniture in that can help them get on their feet and build their world."
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He said sometimes receiving the $10,000 grant and "going brand new" wouldn't be "the best choice for a first home buyer".
Real Estate Institute of NSW Orana division chairman Adam Wells said the stamp duty exemption and the $10,000 grant were having a good impact in the Dubbo market. The city's median house price is $370,000.
First home buyer loans reach decade high
New loans to owner-occupier first home buyers across Australia have reached a decade-high in December, new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.
During December, the volume of new loans to owner-occupier first home buyers increased by 6.2 per cent in seasonally-adjusted terms to record a monthly total of 9606.
The last time a higher monthly total was recorded was 10 years ago back in December 2009.
During December, the volume of new loans to owner-occupier first home buyers increased by 6.2 per cent in seasonally-adjusted terms to record a monthly total of 9606.Australian Bureau of Statistics
The owner-occupier first home buyer market share of new loans in NSW was 30.5 per cent, trailing Western Australia, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT and Queensland, but ahead of South Australia and Tasmania.
The NSW government's First Home Buyers Scheme eliminates stamp duty for first home buyers purchasing a new or existing property valued up to $650,000, and provides stamp duty savings for homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.
The maximum saving under the scheme when buying a new or existing property valued up to $650,000 is currently $24,682, the NSW Treasurer's office advises.
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The First Home Owner Grant of $10,000 is available for new housing constructions valued up to $600,000, or for land and a new construction the applicant intends to build, valued up to $750,000.
The federal government's First Home Loan Deposit Scheme started on January 1, with 10,000 places available this financial year, and another 10,000 from July 1.
Under the scheme, approved applicants will be able to purchase a home with a deposit of as little as five per cent, allowing them to get into the market sooner.
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