This month’s announcement of more than 1000 new houses is the latest move in a massive state government push to make South Australians’ housing dreams come true. Here’s a summary of all the affordable housing – and help! – available.
In its latest move to address the housing shortage in Adelaide, the state government has rezoned land for the construction of at least 1000 new homes across the city’s key north, south, and west growth regions. This includes 489 new allotments at West Lakes and 114 at O’Sullivan Beach, with work on the two sites to begin this year. There are also 400 new allotments rezoned near Gawler, allowing the popular Hillier Residential Park for retirees to expand.
Adding to the south’s housing supply
The O’Sullivan Beach development is set to introduce much-needed new housing to Adelaide’s southern suburbs. The plan will transform vacant land into low-to-medium-density housing, and includes installing a noise barrier to minimise the impact of nearby industrial activities, plus plenty of room for green space.
Homes with a lake view
The West Lakes project, on the vacant site of the decommissioned SA Water wastewater treatment plant, will include around 500 medium-density homes in a prestigious location. The development will feature allotments close to the lakefront and access to essential transport options. If you’re thinking the homes in this development will be too bougie for your budget, think again! Fifteen per cent of the new homes will be classed as affordable housing.
The recently announced rezoning of 10.3 hectares in Virginia is also part of the state government’s push to tackle the housing crisis, by increasing the housing supply in a booming part of the city. The parcel of land in Adelaide’s northern suburbs has been identified as a key growth area and could potentially accommodate at least 150 low density allotments.
The bigger picture
These latest rezonings are just one part of a much larger, long-term government strategy to enhance housing availability at all market levels, with a focus on creating affordable options for first home buyers. It’s part of the state government’s A Better Housing Future strategy, which has been rolling out big initiatives to ease the housing crisis over the past months, and is set to help 50,000 South Aussies find a place to call home. The strategy is full of measures that make buying your first home cheaper, easier and more accessible if you don’t earn loads of money. We break it all down for you:
The massive land release
The state government is fast-tracking the largest release of land for new homes in the state’s history, with plans in place to improve infrastructure and transport around these new developments, too. More than 25,000 homes will be built on land at Hackham, Sellicks Beach, Dry Creek, Concordia, Noarlunga Downs, Aldinga and Golden Grove. Find out exactly what’s being built where.
No more stamp duty
The state government has abolished stamp duty (a tax on real estate purchases) if you’re buying or building your first home. This applies to new homes valued up to $650,000, and to vacant land valued up to $400,000. That means eligible South Australians buying a new house worth $600,000 now save $26,830 in stamp duty. Find out all about it (and check out the handy stamp duty calculator) here.
First Home Owner Grant
The value of homes you can buy to be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant has been increased to $650,000. That means more South Australians building or buying their first home may now be in line for a grant of up to $15,000 – and they can use that money however they need. All the eligibility requirements are here.
Low deposit loans
Eligible first home buyers can now take out a loan through HomeStart with a deposit as low as two per cent – that’s only $10,000 in savings to qualify for a $500,000 loan. There are also other innovative loan options available through HomeStart that can increase borrowing power if you’re eligible. Learn more here.
No interest loans
If you’re finding it hard to save enough for the deposit and upfront costs to buy or build a home, HomeStart’s Starter Loan could provide you with up to $10,000 to help out. This is a loan without the stress – you won’t be charged any interest or required to make any repayments for at least seven years. The state government has made more home buyers eligible for the Starter Loan by raising the household income cap to $75,000 for singles and $100,000 for couples. Find out more, plus other eligibility requirements, here.
As well as land rezoning, the state government is on track to build 1000 affordable homes by 2026 through its own build program managed by SA Housing Authority. These are homes that cost a low- or moderate-income household no more than 30 per cent of their annual income to rent or buy. As well as that, the state government has legislation and incentives in place to ensure private builders incorporate affordable housing into new developments.
Last financial year 229 South Australians bought affordable houses – a 120 per cent year-on-year increase. HomeSeeker SA is a dedicated website to help check your eligibility and sign up for alerts about new affordable housing listings.
As well as all this, the state government’s A Better Housing Future strategy contains a raft of longer term measures to ease the housing crisis. Many of these have already begun, including:
- The first substantial increase to public housing in decades, with an extra 1,144 homes by 2026.
- Overcoming construction industry skill shortages through a big funding boost for TAFE SA and vocational education. This will provide 12,500 industry training places, plus fee-free TAFE to make the training accessible.
- The Office for Regional Housing, which has been created to deliver housing for key workers in selected communities and to work with councils, developers and employers to address housing shortages in regional SA.
- Tax concessions to create new housing opportunities, including the 50 per cent build-to-rent land tax concession and the affordable housing land tax concession.
What about renters?
If you’re not in a position yet to buy your first home (don’t worry, you’re not alone), the state government has also recently reformed the rental rules to better protect tenants. This means no more no-cause evictions, the right for SA renters to keep a pet, and the new Tenant Advocacy Service to support renters whose landlords don’t do the right thing. The SA Housing Authority also provides the Private Rental Assistance Program to financially support struggling renters, and has banned the dodgy tactic of rent bidding. For a deep dive into all the changes, click here.
Want to buy your first home but don’t know where to start? This website is for you.
Need some inspiration for your house hunting? Read how one SA couple’s dream of home ownership came true (with a little state government help).