First Home Super Saver Scheme met with scepticism in real estate industry

Jakob Koestenbauer recently bought his first home at Turvey Park, after saving a deposit while renting.
Jakob Koestenbauer recently bought his first home at Turvey Park, after saving a deposit while renting.

Related coverage:

Wagga’s first home buyers and sales agents are sceptical about the government’s “First Home Super Saver Scheme”, saying it will do little for people trying to break into the market.

Under the scheme, first home buyers will be able to put a maximum of $15,000 per year (capped at $30,000) into their superannuation to help save a deposit. The deposits will be taxed at a lower rate, aimed at giving buyers a leg up on purchasing their first property, but the industry doubts the scheme will achieve its goal.

Jakob Koestenbauer recently bought his first house at Turvey Park, near his job at the hospital, but said he probably wouldn’t have used the government’s new scheme even if he’d qualified.

“I wouldn’t have had that much in there,” Mr Koestenbauer said. 

“If it had been another five years down track maybe, but not at this stage and there are technicalities of it too, it’s not that straight forward. For a first home you’d need a pretty significant income to get an advantage, but I had no problem saving a deposit while paying rent.”

PRD sales agent Bobby Gardner said he’d spoken to others in the industry who all doubted the scheme would make a dent in the real problem: Sydney and Melbourne house prices.

“Sydney has risen 70 per cent in seven years, but the average income has only gone up by 13 per cent,” Mr Gardner said.

“Whereas the Wagga market is extremely affordable, that’s why we’re seeing more people move into the area and not only buying but building new homes.

“We have a massive advantage over the metro areas, we’ve got the infrastructure and we can look after professionals with jobs.”