With first home buyers representing about 15 per cent of all loan settlements in South Australia, Credit Union SA, one of the state's leading credit unions, has launched a $5,000 grant to help South Australian first-home buyers break into the property market.
"This is the biggest purchase that most of us will ever make, and our $5000 first-home buyers' grant allows people to be informed and in control of this major investment decision in the property market," said Grant Strawbridge, chief executive of Credit Union SA.
In the past, state government first-home owner grants of up to $15,000 existed for SA homes, but this was abolished in 2014. Since then, home ownership had become harder for would-be buyers.
Credit Union SA's grant applies to South Australian first-home buyers taking out a mortgage of at least $200,000.
"It's very difficult to get into the market and we feel this will be a good start for people to get in and buy their first home," Strawbridge said. "We think it will strengthen the state as well because getting more people into the housing market and spending, developing, and growing—it's got to be good for everybody."
Greg Troughton, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia, praised the initiative. He said that this could lead to widespread adoption of the grant, hence creating better competition among lenders and buyers in the region. This, in turn, will greatly benefit Adelaide's suburbs and regional areas.
"It's good that credit providers are willing to step up where the government has failed," he said.
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