Ararat and Stawell not ‘priority’ areas for HomesVic $50 million state government scheme for first home buyers

Ararat and Stawell will not be ‘priority’ areas for a new $50 million state government scheme to help people buy their first home.

Applications for the ‘HomesVic’ program will start from Monday next week with the aim of assisting 400 first home buyers by reducing their up-front deposits through a shared equity scheme.

Under the scheme, first home buyers who meet the eligibility criteria will only need a five per cent deposit, and the Government to take a proportional beneficial interest of up to 25 per cent in the property.

When the properties are sold, participating buyers will pay off the proportional beneficial interest, which the Government will reinvest in other homes.

A range of metropolitan and regional areas are included in the scheme – including 85 Melbourne suburbs, 130 regional towns and suburbs, and seven peri-urban towns.

However, the Ararat and Stawell regions are not on the list of ‘priority’ and ‘preferred’ areas.

In regional Victoria, the nearest priority areas are the ‘Ballarat Area’ of Ballarat Central, Alfredton, Ballarat East, Ballarat North, Black Hill, Canadian, Delacombe, Eureka, Golden Point, Invermay Park, Lake Gardens, Lake Wendouree, Lucas, Miner’s Rest, Mitchell Park, Mount Pleasant, Newington, Redan, Sebastopol, Soldiers Hill and Wendouree.

Geelong Bendigo, Warrnambool and their immediate surrounds are also listed as priority areas.

According to the HomesVic website, the priority locations were “chosen in areas where there is a high demand for housing and good access to employment, public transport and other services”.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said HomesVic would help hundreds of Victorians who wouldn’t otherwise be able to buy their first home.

“The scheme is already attracting significant interest from first home buyers eager to get the start they need to enter the property market,” he said.

“It’s part of our comprehensive Homes for Victorians package, which is making things fairer for first home buyers across the state.”

The state government recorded 14 first home buyers within Ararat Rural City and 27 within Northern Grampians Shire who were able to avoid stamp duty under a previous scheme to encourage regional population growth.