Australian first time buyers grant increased to $14kThe federal government has announced a $10.4 billion package to help Australia counter the global economic crisis and first home buyers will be among the major beneficiaries.

The global financial crisis has entered into a new phase and Prime Minister Rudd’s Economic Security Strategy is designed to strengthen the Australian economy in the face of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

First home buyers are already eligible for a grant of $7000, which is funded by the Federal Government and administered by the states.

Now anyone who signs a contract to buy their first home from yesterday until June 30 next will be eligible for a grant of $14,000 if they buy an established dwelling and $21,000 if they buy a new house or apartment.

Economists welcomed the grants for newly built homes but were sceptical about the increase for those buying established homes. The ANZ Bank economist Riki Polygenis said the extra $7000 for existing homes would have little impact on housing activity and might really be designed to prevent falls in prices. “However, the $14,000 for first-time buyers of newly constructed homes should, because its time period is limited, pull forward demand.”

The government will invest about $1.5 billion in the housing market over 2008/09 and 2009/10 through this initiative and for anyone looking to move to Australia on a perminant basis, the $14k – $21k first time buyers grant will be a nice little bonus to! :)