Federal budget axes Rudd-era first-time homebuyers’ program
The new federal budget abolishes First Home Savers Accounts, introduced in 2008 to help first home buyers save through tax concessions, high interest rates and government contributions. The government believes eliminating it will save $134.3 million over five years. Few customers took advantage, with savers put off by being unable to access their funds for four years. Accounts will be wound down before July next year. Read the full story here.

Regulator warns mortgage brokers not to ignore the complexities of SMSFs.
ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell told brokers at the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia’s national convention on the Gold Coast this week that limited recourse borrowing arrangements for SMSFs are legally complex, and that credit assistance providers operating outside one-stop shop arrangements may not believe those arrangements directly impact them. Read the full story here.

China property slowdown to affect Australia growth
China's fading property sector threatens to shave more than 1 percentage point off domestic growth. As Chinese demand for iron for construction projects slows – given that apartment construction forms about 23 per cent of Chinese gross domestic product and a quarter of steel construction – the ripple effect will damage Australian exports. While this may lower the cost of domestic construction, the overall effect will hamper economic growth. Read the full story here.

Who is ready for super-narrow houses in Perth?
At a recent forum of the Urban Development Institute of Australia WA in Perth, builders debated the merits of super-slim homes as a way to manage shrinking lot sizes. Consider a home with frontage of 4.5m — about the length of an average car – as a way to give first homebuyers an affordable chance to move into an area less than 15km from the CBD. Some developers have already begun offering homes 5m wide. Read the full story here.

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