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Home wish granted

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January 24, 2018

Forty-one home owners in Greater Shepparton benefited from the Victorian Government's doubled first home owners grant in the past six months.

Greater Shepparton’s uptake of the Victorian Government’s doubled first home owners grant was well below that of other regional cities such as Bendigo, Ballarat and Wodonga.

But it still proved an incentive for some.

Forty-one home owners benefited from the grant in Greater Shepparton in the past six months.

This was substantially fewer than Wodonga (82), Greater Bendigo (100) and Ballarat (104).

But Shepparton’s uptake proved promising within the region.

Mitchell Shire had 35 new homes taking advantage of the grant, while Moira Shire had 16.

The first home owner grant — available for all newly constructed homes — was doubled for regional Victoria from $10000 to $20000 from last July.

The grant is available to first home buyers building new homes worth up to $750000 and is applicable to contracts signed before July 2020.

Stakeholders welcomed the doubled grant for regional Victoria when announced last year, but said improved infrastructure needed to be part of the conversation alongside industry certainty.

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed had said the move would help serve to retain young people locally, but argued Shepparton needed investment in infrastructure at the same time.

‘‘There is a real opportunity to give (Shepparton) a chance to develop into one of the major regional cities in Victoria... and in doing so, it can provide some relief to the young home buyers’ crisis that exists in Melbourne,’’ she had said.

Acting Regional Development Minister Ben Carroll this week said the doubled grant hoped to give young people in regional Victoria more reason to live locally.

‘‘Importantly, we’re not making these changes in isolation,’’ he said.

‘‘As our regional communities grow, we’re also investing in public transport, local roads, and the schools and hospitals they need.’’

In the first six months, the grant was taken up for the purchase of more than 900 homes across regional Victoria.

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