More home buyers take up government help to purchase
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More home buyers take up government help to purchase

While more first home buyers and single parents took up Home Loan Guarantees in FY23, about 17,500 spots were left on the shelf

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Oct 19, 2023 11:21amGrey Clock 2 min

More home buyers are using government home loan guarantees to help them purchase a property, however, only two-thirds of the 50,000 guarantees on offer in FY23 were taken up.

More than 32,500 guarantees were issued in FY23, according to Housing Australia’s annual report on the Home Guarantee Scheme. The scheme comprises three segments – the First Home Guarantee (FHBG), the Family Home Guarantee (FHG) and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG).

The schemes allows first home buyers to purchase with a mere 5% deposit, and single parents need just 2%. This is vastly lower than the standard 20% deposit required by most lending institutions. In FY23, just under 70% of FHBG guarantees were taken up, along with just 60% of RFHGB guarantees and only 36% of FHG guarantees. The remaining guarantees expired.

Those using the scheme represented one in three of all first home buyers across Australia in FY23, up from one in seven in FY22. According to the report: “The dramatic change is likely due to a combination of the increased number of available Scheme places in 2022–23, the widened eligibility within the Scheme and first home buyers facing a more challenging purchasing environment.”

Housing Australia’s head of research, data and analytics, Hugh Hartigan said substantial increases in interest rates since May 2022 had led to more buyers relying on government help to buy a home. “The broader macroeconomic environment with rapidly rising interest rates has substantially decreased mortgage serviceability with flow-on effects for affordability and this has led to first home buyers relying more heavily (proportionally) on the scheme than in previous years,” he said.

Among the trends are an increasing number of younger Australians and essential workers seeking help. More than half of all places under the FHBG and RFHBG were taken up by first-time buyers aged under 30. That’s up from about a third in FY20, when the scheme was first introduced. About 14% of FHBG guarantees issued in FY23 went to buyers aged 18 to 24 years, up from 3% in FY20. Essential workers such as teachers, nurses and social workers took up 7,721 guarantees in FY23, up from 5,650 in FY22.

At a state and territory level, demand for guarantees remained strongest in Queensland and Western Australia in FY23. Buyers in Greater Perth, Melbourne, Greater Brisbane and regional Queensland received the largest number of guarantees in FY23.

The most popular postcodes for scheme buyers were 4740 (Mackay Harbour, QLD area), 6112 (Armadale, WA area), 4207 (Beenleigh, QLD area), 4350 (East Toowoomba, QLD area), 3064 (Craigieburn, VIC area), 4305 (Ipswich, QLD area), 6171 (Baldivis, WA area), 6164 (Hammond Park, WA area), 3029 (Truganina, VIC area) and 4680 (Gladstone, QLD area).

The scheme has been expanded for FY24 to include eligible permanent residents, non-first home buyers who have not owned a property in the past 10 years, and any two applicants such as friends, siblings, and married or de facto couples. The FHG has also been expanded to include eligible single legal guardians.



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Thousands of Australian companies on the brink of going into administration as EOFY nears

Along with high inflation and weak consumer spending, there’s another key factor pushing a record number of businesses to the edge

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More than 10,000 companies are expected to have entered external administration by the end of the 2024 financial year, a level not seen for more than a decade. Data just released by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) shows 1,245 companies became insolvent in May, the highest monthly number this financial year. At present, a total of 9,988 businesses have gone bust in FY24 with data from June yet to be finalised.

Deloitte Access Economics Partner David Rumbens said the surge in business insolvencies this year was a “clear sign of economic distress”.

He commented: “[ASIC] predicts that by the end of the financial year, the number of companies entering external administration will likely exceed 10,000 – a level not seen since 2012-13, in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).”

Mr Rumbens said the elements contributing to this year’s surge in insolvencies include high inflation and interest rates, weak consumer spending, and the commencement of more proactive tax debt collection activities by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

“One of the key factors contributing to this surge in insolvencies is the [ATO] pursuing debts that were previously put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Mr Rumbens cited ATO figures showing collectable debt rose 89 percent in the four years to June 2023. This has particularly impacted small businesses, which account for approximately 65 percent of the total debt owed at about $33 billion. “But more strictly enforced debt collection is coming at a time of tough economic conditions. High interest rates and cost-of-living pressures have weakened consumer spending, particularly in more discretionary components of spending.”

The construction sector has seen the highest number of insolvencies by far in FY24, mirroring the trend of FY23. Of the 9,988 insolvencies to date, 2,711 of them are in the building sector, which faces several challenges. These include a substantial lift in the cost of construction materials that is well above inflation and has made many fixed-price contracts signed within the past few years unprofitable. There is also a significant labour shortage that is delaying new home completions and new project starts, and also adding higher costs to projects.

“The construction sector has been hit particularly hard, with construction firms leading industry insolvencies in every quarter since mid-2021,” Mr Rumbens said. “They have accounted for approximately 25 percent of all insolvencies during this period. The residential construction sector is already facing a backlog of projects to complete as a result of skills and material shortages in recent years, and increased insolvencies in the sector may only exacerbate the problem of housing shortages.”

The ASIC data shows the next biggest industry affected is ‘other services’, which includes a broad range of personal care services such as hair, beauty, dietary, and death care services. The sector has seen 939 insolvencies in FY24. Retail trade is next with 687 insolvencies, followed by professional, scientific and technical services with 585 insolvencies.

“The food & accommodation sector has also experienced a wave of insolvencies. High input costs, worker shortages, and weak consumer sentiment have put pressure on businesses. Specifically, in March, cafés, restaurants, and takeaway businesses accounted for 5.5 percent of total business insolvencies, the highest proportion in the last three years.”

Mr Rumbens pointed out that while the number of insolvencies was high, it represents a lower share of the business sector at 0.33 percent than it did in FY13 when it was 0.53 percent. “This reflects the increase of registered companies in Australia, which has risen from just over two million to 3.3 million since 2012-13. Even so, the continued lift in insolvencies since 2021 highlights the difficult conditions many businesses face at present.”

 

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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