Auction of 14 Fieldman Crt, Corio

Harcourts, North Geelong agent Joe Grgic auctions a property in Corio. Picture: Mike Dugdale

THE number of first-home buyers in Geelong has increased 85 per cent since the State Goverment abolished stamp duty.

There were 1217 first-home buyers across the City of Greater Geelong that paid no stamp duty from July 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018 for properties up to $600,000, saving up to $31,000 in stamp duty fees.

An additional 112 first-home buyers paid a reduced amount of stamp duty for properties up to $750,000.

This is a significant increase compared to the previous financial year when there were 719 first-home buyers recorded.

Geelong is also Victoria’s most in demand regional area for first-home buyers since stamp duty was removed.

Ballarat was the second biggest regional area attracting 806 first-home buyers and Bendigo recorded 753 first-home buyers.

There were about 30,000 first-home buyers in total across Victoria saving more than $560 million.

Auction at 7 Birdsey St, Thomson

First-home buyers are out in droves in Geelong. Picture: Mike Dugdale

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Harcourts, North Geelong agent Joe Grgic said he noticed an upswing in the number of first-home buyers when stamp duty was abolished.

“They became more prevalent in the market place, they have been out in droves,” Mr Grgic said.

However he added Geelong’s affordability was another big driver behind first-home buyers looking at purchasing in the region.

“I am continuing to see that growth of the Melbourne buyer coming down here for value and lifestyle and that is not going to stop anytime soon,” he said.

“We have known for a long time about the amenities and how good the lifestyle is … you might get stuck on Shannon Ave for 10 minutes but in Melbourne just think of the Monash Freeway.”

Auction of 12 Avon St, Geelong West

Geelong auctions are well attended. Picture: Alan Barber

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the Homes for Victorians initiative was saving Victorians thousands of dollars and helping more first-home buyers break into the housing market.

“Not only does it give them the financial kickstart they need, it means they can remain and raise their family in their local community,” Mr Pallas said.

Meanwhile 488 first-home buyers building their first home in Geelong received the $20,000 First Home Owner Grant.

This number has doubled since the grant was doubled.

Geelong is again the strongest regional area compared to Bendigo with 247 and Ballarat with 272.

The grant is available to regional first-home buyers building new homes valued up to $750,000.

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