Reasons Queensland first home buyers should consider building
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The market may appear daunting, but there are plenty of reasons to get amongst it — not least impressive incentives and the chance to have everything sparkling new.

It might seem like it’s a tough time to be a first home buyer in Queensland, with the state of sun and surf proving more popular than ever over the past 18 months.

“Queensland has been a big beneficiary from the COVID-19 pandemic, with big internal migration in particular from Melbourne to South East Queensland, with people looking for a sea change opportunity,” says Angus Moore, economist at “What that means for first home buyers is that there’s not a lot of available supply.”

Here are five reasons why starting fresh could be a smart move.//

1. Government grants

To begin, grants are up for grabs for first-home buyers keen to build from scratch. The Queensland government’s First Home Owners’ Grant (FHOG) is a good place to start, says Moore.

“It’s $15,000 towards buying or building a new home,” he says.

The FHOG is open to permanent residents and citizens when the value of the house and land is under $750,000.

The First Home Owners’ Grant is only available for new builds.

A further bonus could be found in stamp duty savings, points out Debbie Hicks, a mortgage consultant with MyChoice Home Loans, an in-house broker within builder Brighton Homes.

“The advantages of building compared to going for an established home is that if you’re a first-time buyer and your land is under $250,000, there’s no stamp duty on the land,” she says. “It’s a huge saving.”

There’s possibly even one more lever — the federal government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.

“It’s where the government indemnifies the lender, so there’s no mortgage insurance for the buyer,” says Hicks. “It’s for properties under $650,000 and you have to be an Australian citizen.”

Hicks notes there are limited places left on this round of the scheme before it closes at the end of July 2022, so speak to a mortgage broker or bank about whether you can apply.

2. Beat price rises

First home buyers are not only entering a competitive market, but a pricey one.

Moore says Australia has recently experienced incredibly fast growth in house prices, with some areas up as much as 20%.

“For first-time buyers who are looking to get a deposit together, it’s obviously tougher than it was even a couple of years ago,” he says.

Once you’ve got a foot on the property ladder, you can start building up equity in your home.

Debbie Bottriell, sales manager at Brighton Homes, adds that investors are also back with a bang.

“Investors are competing with first time buyers for the stock that’s on the ground,” she says.

Bottriell says first-timers can be competitive if they take advantage of the incentives as well as the insights that experts can share, such as finding out about available land first.

“With our strong developer relationships, sometimes we’re in a position to facilitate some land opportunities that they may not get otherwise,” says Bottriell.

3. Easier than you think  

A factor that might hold a first-time buyer back is fear about the building process. However, Bottriell says that while starting from scratch might seem a little daunting, it can be seamless.

“Buyers might look at the marketing and think, ‘I couldn’t possibly afford that’,” she says. “Then people come through the displays and realise, ‘I actually can do this’.”

At Brighton Homes, Bottriell says the design selection process is broken down into bite-size pieces and is transparent in terms of inclusions.

4. Great home designs

The beauty of building brand new is that you can have exactly what you want, from the exterior design right through to the colours, styling and fittings.

“With our Elwood product range, what you see on display is what you get,” says Bottriell.

“You can touch it, feel it and know that’s exactly what you’re going to get. There are little discs throughout the display that denote what are standard items or extras.”

If you build new, you get to choose the floor plan you want.

The Elwood range also recognises that first-home buyers are now at different ages and stages in life. It caters to this with a variety of floor plans, bedroom and bathroom configurations, as well as indoor and outdoor living spaces.

“It’s all about liveability and function,” says Bottriell. “One of the biggest advantages is that if you see a plan that you love and think, ‘If only we could change just a few things’, well you actually can.”

A bonus of having everything sparkly new is great peace of mind, she points out.

“You’ve got warranties on your appliances and your structure.” 

5. Builder incentives

A final reason why a new build in Queensland could be a smart move is taking advantage of a builder incentive from Brighton Homes.

Hicks explains the Brighton Pays incentive means that Brighton Homes pays the interest on the house during its construction phase — up to a maximum of $12,000 (not including the land loan).

“While people are still paying rent, that can save a lot of money,” says Hicks.

Hicks sums up that first-home buyers have plenty to gain by being bold and building.

“It’s actually easier for first home buyers now than it ever was, especially with the incentives — it makes a big difference.”