Master Builders Victoria (MBV) welcomes the Victorian Government’s recently launched Victorian Homebuyer Fund (VHF) to support more Victorians to buy their own home.

However, MBV is concerned that the fund does not address increasing concerns surrounding housing affordability.

The Victorian Government says the $500 million fund will assist up to 3,000 Victorians to become homeowners.

Eligible participants will only require a 5 per cent deposit, and the Victorian Government will support up to 25 per cent of the purchase price in exchange for an equivalent share in the property.

Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson said the VHF would assist in reducing barriers to entry for first home buyers as deposits can often be a major hurdle in home purchases.

However, Ms Casson said that this might place some upward pressure on home prices as demand could increase in the short term.

“Effects of higher demand for secure housing and low-interest rates has seen price increases of 15.6 per cent in Melbourne and 20 per cent in regional Victoria over the year to August 2021,” Ms Casson said.

“In the same period, unit prices in Melbourne and regional Victoria saw an increase of 7.3 per cent and 22.3 per cent respectively.”

“Prices are still expected to increase into next year.”

“This is why Master Builders Victoria continues to advocate for the removal of stamp duty taxes and the removal of other new taxes like the windfall gains tax.”

Ms Casson said Master Builders Australia recently submitted a report in response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue’s Inquiry into housing affordability and supply.

The submission detailed how more new homes could be built each year and outlined ways to reduce the cost of creating new homes.

Policy proposals made by Master Builders Australia included greater Federal Government incentives to reward State Governments for addressing housing affordability and supply problems, more accurate data surrounding the residential building pipeline, and the removal of excessive taxations and charges on housing.

These proposals will all have a greater impact on addressing the structural issues of housing affordability and supply in Victoria.