The Victorian State Budget 2019 features several wins for property investors, owner-occupiers and first home buyers. Addressing issues of combustible cladding safety and redevelopment plans for ‘priority precincts’, the latest Think Property & Co blog unpacks everything you need to know about the State Budget – including a solar panel rebate program that’s accessible to both tenants and homeowners.
Flammable Cladding & Apartment Living
As discussed in Think Property & Co’s Autumn newsletter, the public remains concerned about flammable cladding compliance in both commercial and residential structures. The 2019 budget will put aside $46.6 million to address combustible cladding safety in apartment buildings. The funding will provide for risk assessments of private buildings by the Victorian Building Authority. With 550 building audits set to be completed for non-compliant cladding investigations, 480 are already scheduled for 2020. If buildings are non-compliant, cladding rectification will be considered.
That said, the budget features $2.5 million in funding to strengthen regulations around apartment development standards. To ensure safety and liveability standards, architects and designers will consult to improve future development design, helping Victoria to plan apartments that represent best practice.
Close to 1000 new public housing properties will be funded with $209 million designated for immediate construction in Geelong, Ballarat, Darebin, Maribyrnong, Stonnington and Whitehorse. The funds will support a public housing renewal program and homelessness services through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. Extra funds have been allocated for servicing and replacing gas heaters in public housing and speciality disability accommodation.
Funds for redeveloping priority precincts will provide areas with a fresh new look. Suburbs include Parkville, Arden, Fishermans Bend, West Melbourne, Richmond, Docklands and Sunshine. The funds cover building reviews and planning approval processes.
First Home Buyers & Property
First home buyers who acquire properties up to the value of $600,000 will be exempt from stamp duty taxes. Stamp duty concessions have already totalled $614 million in discounts and are predicted to decrease to $596 million next year.
A new solar panel rebate program will benefit homeowners who install solar panels, solar hot water systems or battery storage systems. Interest-free loans for the remaining costs will be available from July 1st and are to be repaid over a four-year period. The offer extends to tenants who can also access a rebate and interest-free loan, only if landlords agree to share installation costs. Tenants will pay 25% of the costs via a levy on top of their rent over four years, with the government and landlord subsidising the remaining amount.
Think Property & Co are here to support our landlords and work through these changes, continuing to provide our premium service in accordance with the new state legislation. Our team will further update you when more detailed information on these amendments becomes available.