Stamp duty cuts are failing to lure first-home buyers into the market as their numbers tumble to a seven-year low. First-home buyers took out 6488 loans in the three months since the July 1 cut - 5 per cent fewer than the 6824 granted in the same period a year earlier and close to half the number recorded in 2009.
Budding new home owners accounted for 15 per cent of all mortgages granted in September, which was down from 17 per cent a year earlier and almost 30 per cent in 2009, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Any incentive offered by the 20 per cent stamp duty cut, which amounts to about $3800 on a $450,000 purchase, has been erased by the prospect of further falls in property prices and weak consumer confidence.
"First home buyers are subject to the same issues as all home buyers: reduced confidence because of the state of the international economy," Real Estate Institute of Victoria spokesman Robert Larocca said.
"While the 20 per cent cut is welcome, it alone will not - and it really was not supposed to - lead to revival in the property market."
Croydon renters Andrew Frost, 25, and Leah Ryper, 22, said they were "a long way" from securing their slice of the great Australian dream.
"We do want to be homeowners one day, but it's just not realistic for us to buy at the moment," Mr Frost said.
"A small reduction in stamp duty is not going to change our situation. House prices are way too high."
Barry Plant chief executive Mike McCarthy said lowering stamp duty for first home buyers was only "one piece of the puzzle".
"The stamp duty cut and the recent interest rate cut are all little pieces, but general consumer confidence is the big one," he said.
"One single factor won't see the market pick up. A lot of things need to come together, but our view is that we are near the bottom - if not at it - of the current downward cycle."
Source: The Herald Sun