The number of prestige homes worth up to $750,000 being bought with the assistance of the WA first-homeowners grant surged 22 per cent last year.
In all, 15,212 grants totalling more than $107.5 million were dispensed in 2011-12, including hundreds in posh suburbs such as Cottesloe, Applecross, Mosman Park and Crawley.
The vast majority of the grants were used to buy houses worth less than $500,000 but 2231 were used to buy homes worth between $500,000 and $750,000.
The previous year, 1834 homes in the same price bracket were bought with the $7000 grant.
The Government-assisted purchases last financial year included 16 in Applecross, 16 in Bicton, 95 in Como, 68 in Doubleview and 26 in Mosman Park.
Shadow housing minister Peter Tinley, who obtained the figures through questions in Parliament, said the grant should be better directed towards those who needed it most.
In WA, the grant applies to first homes up to $750,000 below the 26th parallel and up to $1 million above it. The grant is paid for by the Commonwealth but administered by the States.
Mr Tinley suggested a "floating" eligibility cap which reflected the median house price.
"It's about spreading what is a finite asset to those most in need and that is people entering at the bottom of the market," Mr Tinley said.
Real Estate Institute of WA president David Airey said he did not support dropping the eligibility cap but believed the grant should be raised to $10,000.
"The first-homeowners grant was brought in as a GST offset measure in 2000 but it's never been increased, apart from a temporary doubling during the global financial crisis," he said.
"In 2000 the median house price was about $180,000 and the grant was 3 or 4 per cent of the average price of a home. Of course now it amounts to about 1.5 per cent of the average cost of a home."Treasurer Troy Buswell said that before the Liberal-National Government introduced it, there was no cap on eligibility at all.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.