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First Home owners scheme to continue for 6 months

12 May 2009 7:38 PM

CANBERRA, May 12 AAP - Those buying their first home have another six months to locate their dream dwelling and still benefit from last year's boost to the first home owners grant scheme.

The first home owners grant was lifted from $7,000 to $14,000 for existing dwellings and to $21,000 for new homes as part of the $10.4 billion stimulus package unveiled by the government in October last year.

The more generous scheme was set to expire on June 30 but has been extended due to the ongoing impact of the global financial crisis.

But under changes announced in the budget on Tuesday night, people who enter into contracts on or before September 30 will still be eligible for a grant of $14,000 for an existing dwelling and $21,000 for a new home.

The more generous scheme will then been phased down, and end after December 31.

Between October 1 and December 31, the boost will be halved, meaning first home buyers will receive a total of $10,500 for established homes and $14,000 for new homes.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said the first home owners boost had already helped 59,000 people achieve the great Australian dream.

"In light of the continuing global uncertainty and the success of this initiative, tonight, I announce that we will extend the boost for a further six months, including three months at the full rate before stepping it down," he said in his budget speech.

Data released this week showed first home buyers accounted for 27.3 per cent of all home loans approved in March.

AAP mb/kms/jlw