A building incentive scheme to lure new home owners needs to be extended not extinguished says a leading economist.- Toby Mann
HIA chief economist Harley Dale says the $10,000 Queensland's Building Boost scheme for new home buyers must be kept open beyond the January 31 deadline.
He said the latest HIA figures, which show Queensland's detached house sales increased by 4.7 per cent in the month - well below NSW (22.8) and Victoria (11.6) - was enough to highlight the industry still needs assistance.
"If you have implemented a boost, which has had some success but still leaves you 40 per cent short of where you need to be, it seems pretty clear to me that it's not that appropriate time to be removing that stimulus," Dale told ABC Radio.
New Queensland home owners must sign a contract for a house worth up to $600,000 by the end of the month to be eligible for the assistance.
The scheme was tipped to attract 14,000 people when it was launched last August.
Instead, just 3206 people had taken advantage of the offer by January 1, according to figures released by Treasurer Andrew Fraser.
Even though the scheme has attracted less than a quarter of the buyers predicted, a spokesman for Fraser said they would not extend the deadline.
Fraser said official interest rate cuts and the $10,000 Queensland Building Boost had made it easier for new home buyers to enter the market.
"In October we saw a massive increase of 20.8 per cent in detached house sales in Queensland, and it's been backed up by another increase of 4.7 per cent in November," Fraser said in a statement.
"We have seen increasing interest in Queensland Building Boost applications throughout December so I'd expect to keep seeing more growth in this sector."
Source: AAP NewsWire