... So that You may be kept informed

Fed: Extended first home buyers' grant to get reprieve: report

24 Apr 2009 1:50 AM

MELBOURNE, April 24 AAP - The federal government is considering extending its enhanced first home-buyers grant beyond June 30.

The grants scheme could be revised in the May 12 federal budget to favour new home construction over purchases of existing homes, News Limited newspapers report.

The scheme was a $1.5-billion inclusion in the $10.4 billion economic stimulus package announced in December last year. The grant to first-time buyers of existing houses was doubled to $14,000, and tripled to $21,000 for those buying new housing stock.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday seemed to indicate the scheme would end as planned on June 30, but lauded its effectiveness in drawing buyers to what might be an otherwise depressed housing market and providing jobs for tradespeople.

Labor sources told News Limited the scheme would go on in a slightly altered form.

Liberal housing spokesman Scott Morrison, who supports the scheme, said Mr Rudd should clarify the fate of the scheme, describing the speculation as a "cruel tease" for home buyers.

Low interest rates and the subsidies have led first-home buyers to take a record 26.9 per cent of new home loans in January, News Limited said.