Federal grant used to buy big-ticket homes

The Victorian Treasurer, John Brumby, has again called for the Federal Government to cut off the first homebuyers' grant for anyone purchasing houses worth more than $500,000. He told a parliamentary committee yesterday that 650 properties worth $500,000-plus and 30 worth $1,000,000-plus had been bought with the aid of the $7,000 grant from the public purse. Mr Brumby urged the Federal Government to cap the grant to properties worth less than $500,000, saying that the money paid to those purchasers should have been channelled into public housing. It would amount to about $20 million a year, he said.

However, a spokesman for the Federal Treasurer Peter Costello said that the Commonwealth grant to first homebuyers would continue, in agreement with the States.

Find out more about the First Homebuyers' Grant