While most Australians were enjoying the holidays, it would have been easy to miss the myriad changes and new laws that came into effect this week.
Apart from changes to prescription medications, Covid-19 rules, and tertiary education, several of the federal government’s new measures will directly impact the housing industry from 1 January 2023.
One is that older Australians will be allowed more time to purchase, build or renovate a new principal home before their pension is affected. The Australian Government is extending the exemption of home sale proceeds from pension asset testing from 12 months to 24 months.
Another change will expand the ‘downsizer super contributions’ program to allow people aged 55 to 59 to boost their retirement savings if they downsize when their children move out.
While the measures appear to be relevant to the older generations of homeowners, the impact will be far more widespread, since they encourage the release of established homes back into the market.
As of this week, veterans will also benefit, with access to a special home loan subsidy and an expansion of the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme to allow them to access the scheme as soon as they leave the service.
The change will halve the minimum service required from four to two years of permanent service and from eight to four years of reserve service.