Premier Lara Giddings will announce a doubling of the state's first home builders grant at the Jobs Forum in Launceston today in a bid to dramatically stimulate activity and job creation in the building industry.
The housing industry described the unprecedented grant as the tonic to provide a significant adrenalin shot for the economy.
Ms Giddings said yesterday the grant for first home owners who buy or build a new home would be increased from $15,000 to $30,000, effective immediately.
She said the take-up for the $15,000 grant, which was increased from $7000 last year, had been slower than expected.
"It was always expected that applications would accelerate over time, but we recognise the need to create jobs right now," Ms Giddings said.
"Builders have told us that there has been a lot of interest from people wanting to build their first home but they needed more time to accumulate a deposit.
"That is why we have taken the decision to turbo-charge the incentive for people to build their first home, effectively paying the cost of a deposit on an average new home build."
Housing Industry Association executive director Stuart Clues was buoyed by the news.
"The policy should avoid the usual criticism from naysayers that it will just increase house prices, because it will only be available for the construction of new homes," Mr Clues said.
"New home construction has continued to languish while existing home sales are starting to move. This policy initiative will hopefully close that gap and create much needed construction jobs."
Mr Clues said the grant boost would benefit more than just a struggling local construction industry -- an industry that normally employs up to 20,000 Tasmanians, but had seen 5000 jobs disappear in the past 12 months.
"Every time a new home is built it generates significant flow-on employment to around 35 other small businesses, from carpet layers, to whitegoods sales and landscape supplies," he said.
The Premier said the new grant meant there was no time like the present for Tasmanians to own their first home.
"I would encourage anyone who has been thinking about building or even buying a new home off the plan to think seriously about taking advantage of this offer," Ms Giddings said.
Tasmania was among the cheapest places to realise the great Australian dream of building a new home, she said.
"The average cost of constructing a first home in Tasmania was around $234,000 in 2012-13 and this grant will make building an even more attractive proposition."
Mr Clues said he hoped young Tasmanians would make the most of the $30,000 offer while it was on the table.
The scheme will run until December 2014.
Reported on the Mercury Website 7.11.13
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