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All eyes on property as the election race tightens

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Property in the spotlight as the election heats up. Source: AAP
Property in the spotlight as the election heats up. Source: AAP

Scott Morrison is confident his plan to make it easier for some Australians to buy their first home won't backfire by inflating house prices.

"I don't buy that at all. What I know it will do is help first home buyers get into the market," the prime minister told Nine's Today on Monday.

Under the new home deposit scheme, the government would offer loan guarantees for one in 10 eligible first home buyers, allowing them to buy properties with deposits of just five per cent, at a cost of $500 million.

Labor has committed to matching the plan, blunting the prime minister's pitch on housing affordability.

Morrison is eager for people to know that Labor wants to scrap another scheme that helps people save for their first home by withdrawing voluntary contributions to their superannuation

"You can't support programs and then walk away from all the other things that makes it possible," he said in a live Facebook video.

"It's fine for Bill Shorten to try and mimic us, but what he can't mimic is our ability to implement policy, design policy and do it in a way that doesn't increase taxes."

The housing stoush comes as Labor remains in the box seat to win the federal election in five days' time, with Bill Shorten receiving a boost to his personal rating.

The latest Newspoll shows the campaign race remains tight, with the coalition lifting its primary vote to 39 per cent.

But Labor still leads by 51 to 49 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, with its primary vote also up slightly to 37 per cent.

Mr Shorten has also closed the gap on Scott Morrison in the "better prime minister" stakes, The Australian reports on Monday.

Just seven points now separate the pair, with the opposition leader lifting three points to 38 per cent and Mr Morrison falling back one point to 45 per cent.

Some 17 per cent of voters remain undecided.

"This will be a very close election all the way around the country," Morrison said.

Both leaders are campaigning in Sydney on Monday morning.

The opposition leader is harnessing lingering anger with cuts in the coalition's 2014 budget as he heads into the home stretch.

Five years after that budget went down like a lead balloon, Bill Shorten is honing in on its "savage" cuts, five days from Saturday's federal election.

He said the budget locked in two terms of cuts to schools, hospitals, pensions and essential services.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen also says the coalition is hiding a range of budget cuts it plans to make until after the election.

So far the coalition hasn't explained how it will pay for more than 40 election commitments worth $6 billion, he argues, including funding it has offered for the East West Link in Victoria and Perth Freight Link.

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