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    Cairns first home buyers race the clock for $20,000 grant


    More than 200 locals have received over $4 million towards construction of their first home in Cairns since July last year, with industry leaders urging others to act fast to grab a $20,000 grant that expires in just four weeks.

    The Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant, which expires at midnight on June 30, offers first-time home owners $20,000 towards building or buying a new house, unit or townhouse valued up to $750,000.

    To qualify for the grant, applicants must have signed a building contract prior to June 30.

    Designed to stimulate the building and construction sector, the grant does not cover established homes.

    From the new financial year, the grant will revert to the original sum of $15,000.

    As of today, 204 first home buyers in Cairns have been given approval for the grant since it was introduced on July 1 2016, flooding the TNQ building and construction sector with more than $4 million.

    So far, a total of 252 people have applied, which – if all are approved – will bring the total funds for TNQ to $5,040,000.

    Statewide, more than 4100 people have successfully applied for the grant, with a total of $82.5 million paid out.

    There’s still time to join in… just.

    “GET THE BALL ROLLING”

    Troy Cavallaro of Cairns’ award-winning Allaro Homes told TropicNow that the time for decisions was now.

    "With what we know is on the horizon in terms of development in Cairns, the cost of construction is already starting to rise and will never be this low again,” Mr Cavallaro said.

    “If people are thinking about it or holding off on building a new home, it is definitely worth getting the ball rolling both in terms of the grant and securing a price for construction before June 30."

    Jai Hobbs of Evolve Loans agreed, saying anyone considering applying for the grant should “act now”, adding that the $20,000 boost had given some Cairns buyers their own home with virtually no deposit.

    “With some great land developments around Cairns, there is plenty of land to choose from.

    “According to the April edition of the Cairns Watch, building approvals in Cairns are currently 53% down on this time last year.

    “First home buyers can take advantage of the opportunity to build before the construction industry gets too busy and we most likely see a price rise.

    “Demand for housing is still strong with rental vacancy rates sitting at 1.8 per cent in Cairns.

    “There are plenty of low deposit loan options at great rates for people looking to get into the marketing.”

    For more information on the grant, click here.