Western Australia doesn’t seem to be attracting as many first-home buyers as it should, despite being one of the most affordable states in Australia.

Recent figures from Cordell Housing report revealed that of the average 674 detached housing applications per month, only around 17.8% are first-time buyers.

Gemmill Homes managing director Craig Gemmill said the state government should take this seriously by looking for ways to make the housing market more attractive to first-home buyers.

“First-home buyers are not a huge part of the market and we need to find a way to get them to come back into the market,” he said.

Gemmill suggested a housing grant scheme that would provide 1,000 first-home buyers with an additional $5,000 to help them with their home purchase. He argued that at a time that the government is posting a $1.3bn budgetary surplus, it would not hurt for it to shell $5m out to help break the barrier that is pushing first-home buyers out of the housing market.

“A figure like this is offset too by the work that it would create, not to mention things like income tax, and the payroll tax people are going to pay, as a result of the industry uplift,” he said. “We understand the government’s budgetary constraints, but let’s put a figure on it – we’re going to do 1,000 homes and cap it there.”

Gemmill said building new homes will be more practical and beneficial for first-home buyers in the long run.

“Building is the only option that will give you a totally customised house that no one has lived in. All your costs are done upfront. If you buy an established property, you don’t know what you have to improve or fix on it. So, there’s a big unknown there,” he said.

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