Wimmera towns omitted from home buyers’ scheme

Treasurer  Tim Pallas.
Treasurer Tim Pallas.

TOWNS across the Wimmera will not be “priority” areas for a new $50 million state government scheme to help people buy their first home.

Applications for the HomesVic program will start from Monday next week.

The program aims to help 400 first home buyers by reducing their up-front deposits through a shared equity scheme.

Under the scheme, first home buyers who meet the eligibility criteria will only need a five per cent deposit, and the government to take a proportional beneficial interest of up to 25 per cent in the property.

When the properties are sold, participating buyers will pay off the proportional beneficial interest, which the government will reinvest in other homes.

A range of metropolitan and regional areas are included in the scheme – including 85 Melbourne suburbs, 130 regional towns and suburbs, and seven peri-urban towns.

However, the Horsham, Ararat and Stawell regions are not on the list of “priority” and “preferred” areas.

Priority areas in regional Victoria include Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo and Warrnambool.

The HomesVic website says the priority locations were “chosen in areas where there is a high demand for housing and good access to employment, public transport and other services”.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said HomesVic scheme was “making things fairer for first home buyers across the state”.

He said the scheme had already gained “significant interest”. 

The state government has also abolished stamp duty for first home buyers purchasing new and existing homes up to $600,000, and provided discounted stamp duty up to $750,000.

Mr Pallas said in the six months to December 31, more than 9700 first home buyers across Victoria paid no stamp duty while another 2000 paid reduced stamp duty – representing a saving of $212 million.

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