Astute East Brisbane's Finance Insights

Drawing on his industry experience, Tony Duncan shares his thoughts on industry changes, home loan requirements and a number of important areas to consider when planning your first home purchase or your next property investment. 

  • Tony Duncan

Why now could be good time to buy your first home in Brisbane

Updated: Nov 5, 2020


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a huge amount of uncertainty to our daily lives. News headlines talk regularly of volatility on the stock market- often a litmus test for what’s to come for the economy.

Unemployment rates have fluctuated, and Victoria and New South Wales continue to battle outbreaks.


Whilst Queensland has thus far faired comparatively well economically, this certainly adds up to appear to be a daunting time to consider buying a house. However, taking a closer look at the market from a finance perspective indicates that there’s a lot to like about the shape of the Brisbane real estate market right now and taking the leap now could put you years ahead in your property investment planning.

At Astute East Brisbane, we’ve experienced a significant uplift of enquiries from Brisbane based first home buyers to seasoned property investors and that really began back in June with the lifting of restrictions. That timing coincided with a 20% increase in property sales (June-July) compared to the same time last year (1).

In September it was announced that Australia had entered into a recession, a prospect that while no less concerning, was one that was anticipated and planned for by the federal government in the months prior. There are many authorities on the topic of finance who say this can be a great time to invest (Michael Yardney (1), Dave Ramsey, Peter Schiff). Typical reasons include lower interest rates, less buying competition and lower house prices.

To stem the flow of negative impacts from the pandemic, federal and state governments are continuing to ensure increased spending on infrastructure projects and the provision of grants for those new to the property market.

At Astute, the grants that we’re working regularly with are the First Home Owner’s Grant (FHOG), First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) and Home Builder Grant (FHBG). Coupled with record-low interest rates, expected to remain in place for some time to come, we’re in a position to share that there are some genuine savings and benefits to be had.

If you’re thinking more and more about this possibly being a good time to make your first purchase, you’re in good company. QBE recently put out an Australian Housing outlook for 2020-2023 and there seems to be a real turning of the dial from this government initiative (2).

Brisbane and the surrounding markets continue to experience a buoyant real estate market due also in part to an influx of interest from southern states looking to migrate north (3). There is good reason to believe there will be sustained interest in Queensland due to a so-called “Zoom Boom” whereby organisations continue to allow employees to work remotely where possible to enable social distancing. The effects of that are being well felt in our sunnier destinations such as the Sunshine Coast.


For your information, here is the overview of the First Home Home Loan Deposit Scheme(6), of which an additional 10 000 places were recently announced, available up until June 2021;


For those who are eligible, there’s up to $45 000 available, which could make all the difference to your entry to the property market.


First Home Low Deposit Scheme (FHLDS)

· $0 stamp duty cost on purchases up to 500 000

· New or used house purchases or building a new home could provide access to up to $15 000 from the QLD government and $25 000 from the federal government*


Here’s a recap of what’s involved in the First Home Buyer’s Grant (2);


If your contract is dated 1 July 2018 or later, you can get the Queensland grant of $15,000 towards buying or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000).


The grant is paid per new home; not to each of the applicants for the same home.

You can buy off the plan or choose to build yourself.


To be eligible for the grant:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.

  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying with someone who is).

  • You or your spouse must not have previously owned property in Australia that you lived in.

  • You must be buying or building a brand new home.

  • The value of the home including the land is less than $750,000.

  • You must move into the new home as your principal place of residence within 1 year of the completed transaction and live there continuously for 6 months.

You might also qualify for the Regional home building boost grant and the HomeBuilder grant.


And here for the Home Builder's Grant (3);


These criteria apply to all persons, whether applying as an individual or as part of a couple.

  • You must not have previously received a Home Builder Grant in any state or territory of Australia.

  • You must be at least 18 years of age. (Companies and trusts cannot apply.)

  • You must be an Australian citizen at the time you apply.

  • Your 2018–19 or 2019-20 annual taxable income must be below:

  • $125,000 for an individual or $200,000 for a couple.

  • You will be the registered owner on the title.

  • The home will be your principal place of residence after completion or settlement.

  • The contract is signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to:

  • buy an off-the plan or new home valued at $750,000 or less and construction had not started before 4 June 2020 or

  • build a new home where the build amount and the value of the land (including any existing structures) is $750,000 or less or

  • substantially renovate an existing home, where

  • renovations cost between $150,000 and $750,000 and

  • value of property (home and land before renovation) is less than $1.5 million

As always, if you’re interested in knowing more we’re only a phone call away and happy to help you understand what’s possible for your circumstances.

1. https://propertyupdate.com.au/whats-ahead-brisbanes-property-market/

2. https://www.qld.gov.au/housing

3. https:/or.com.au/zoom-boom-draws-sea-changers-to-sunshine-state//qldpropertyinvest

4. https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/financial-help-concessions/homebuilder

5. https://www.qbe.com/lmi/news/reports/housing-outlook?utm_source=mfaa-edm&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=lmi-housing-outlook-09-2020

6. https://www.nhfic.gov.au/what-we-do/fhlds/eligibility/

Astute Financial Management Pty Ltd | ACN 093 587 010 | Australian Credit Licence 364253  | Davgan Insurance & Wealth Pty. Ltd. T/As Astute East Brisbane Corporate Authorised Representative (425641) of Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd | ABN 93 161 647 007 | AFSL 449221. www.centrepointalliance.com.au/aw | General Insurance provided by Astute Insurance Pty Ltd | ABN 59 622 582 236 | Authorised Representative of Ausure Pty Ltd ABN 94 096 971 854 AFSL 238433. Health Insurance products are underwritten by St Luke’s Medical and Hospital Benefits Association ACN 009 479 618 (St.LukesHealth), a registered private health insurer, [trading as Astute Simplicity Health] and members are introduced by Astute Financial Management Pty Ltd or related entities (collectively known as Astute) for which Astute receives a commission.

General Advice Warning: This communication contains general information only and in no way constitutes the provision of professional advice, nor should it be relied on as a substitute for financial, credit, accounting, legal or other professional advice. We have not taken into account your financial situation, investment objectives or particular needs.  Before making an investment or financial decision, a person must seek appropriate independent professional advice and also consider whether this information is appropriate to their needs, objectives and circumstances. The author as well as their representatives, agents and employees give no guarantees and make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy, currency, completeness or suitability of the information contained in this document. Nor do they accept any liability whatsoever as a result of any information herein being incorrect, incomplete or unsuitable or as a result of a person in any way using or relying on the information herein.

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