The NSW state government has unveiled plans to trial a shared-equity scheme for prospective homeowners in the state as it continues its rollout of housing initiatives tied to the latest state budget. Attwood Marshall Lawyers Property & Commercial Law Graduate Mieke Elzer discusses the trial and how it will affect real estate agents, home buyers, and the NSW property market.
Teachers, police, nurses, single parents, and older individuals will be offered support to achieve their goals of home ownership by way of a $780.4 million investment in a shared equity scheme, to be trialled by the NSW Government.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has come out and said that 6,000 places will be available in the pilot project, conducted over the next two years. In addition, the project will see the state government contribute an equity share of up to 40% for a new property or up to 30% for an existing property purchased by eligible buyers.
Mr Perrottet has signalled that housing affordability will be one of his Government’s key focus areas as it unveils the last budget before heading into an election in early 2023. The Premier has already unveiled his intention to push ahead with stamp duty reform in this financial cycle.
Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts noted the trial was part of a broader housing package costing the state $2.8 billion.
The NSW government has also committed almost $500 million to unlock land and accelerate housing infrastructure in the next budget, looking to accelerate new housing projects to mitigate the supply crunch.
This initiative includes $300 million to fast-track the delivery of “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects that will commission new homes in Sydney and fundamental regional areas, $89 million to speed up planning assessments, and $69.8 for the rezoning of key housing precincts in Sydney and regional areas.
It also earmarks $33.8 million to address housing supply in regional NSW to create a 10-year housing supply pipeline and $3.8 million to establish a “call-in” team for accelerated council-led rezoning.
The Government notes this spending was in direct response to recommendations from the Regional Housing Taskforce, which identified the lack of infrastructure in regional communities as a barrier to creating new housing.
Is your client eligible to access the scheme?
NSW’s trial will be available to first home buyers who fall under the category of “key workers”, such as nurses, teachers, and police officers, as well as older singles over 50, and single parents with a child, or children, under 18.
Participants must generate a maximum gross income of $90,000 for singles, and $120,000 for couples, and have saved a minimum deposit of 2 per cent of the purchase price.
The maximum value of the property they can seek to buy is $950,000 in Sydney, and regional centres including Illawarra, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and the Central Coast and Northern Coast of NSW; and $600,000 in other regions of NSW.
Applicants must also:
- Be over 18 years old
- Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or an exempt permanent resident
- Occupy the property as their principal place of residence.
- Demonstrate they are unable to service a mortgage without the shared equity scheme but are able to service the mortgage for the life of the loan.
What the government expects from participants
The state government will ensure that participants in the scheme meet a series of ongoing obligations. These include:
- Annual review into eligibility – recipients will need to complete an annual review and provide information supporting your continued eligibility for the scheme.
- Repairs and maintenance – recipients will maintain the property and ensure it is in “working order”, as per the state government website.
- Renovations – The government must also approve renovations or modifications as they pertain to the property’s value. If the value changes, it must be factored into the sale price.
- Homeownership costs – Unlike with a guarantor home loan, the buyer is responsible for paying ongoing property ownership costs like home loan repayments, council rates, strata fees.
Regarding the first point, applicants that no longer meet the above eligibility criteria, may be required to begin repayment of the equity contribution made by the government. This requirement may also be triggered in circumstances where the recipients income exceeds the threshold for two consecutive annual review reporting dates.
Can your client use this scheme in conjunction with other government buyer assistance schemes?
The NSW government’s shared-equity trial scheme is similar to one proposed by the Federal Labor Government for first home buyers earning under $90,000 for singles and $120,000 for couples.
Home buyers will not be able to use both shared-equity schemes concurrently.
The NSW government’s shared equity scheme does not impact stamp duty concessions or exemptions. Therefore, if a property falls into either of these categories, the buyer may still benefit from those schemes. The NSW Government’s proposed overhaul of the current stamp duty requirements could make this eye-watering upfront cost a thing of the past. Attwood Marshall will keep its audience updated as further information about the proposal is released.
How can Attwood Marshall Lawyers help?
It is imperative for buyers who are considering participating in the NSW government’s shared equity scheme, to seek expert legal advice from a law firm experienced in property law, familiar with the scheme and ensure they understand their entitlements and obligations.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers is an experienced e-conveyancing law firm that has assisted thousands of real estate agents and their clients achieve their property goals each year and inform buyers and sellers about their options. We conveniently have offices located at Robina Town Centre, Coolangatta, Kingscliff, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Our friendly team will guide buyers through the conveyancing process to ensure settlement happens on time without fuss.
To avoid risk or missed opportunities, contact our Property and Commercial Department Manager, Jess Kimpton, on direct line 07 5506 8214, mobile 0432 857 300 or email email@example.com
If you or your clients require advice outside of office hours, our Robina Town Centre office is open Thursday night until 9pm and Saturday morning until 12noon, or you can contact our team on our 24/7 phone line on 1800 621 071.