As a first home buyer, you may be eligible for several state funding schemes to get you into your own place sooner. Let us help you understand the first home owners grant and other schemes you might be able to take up as you buy your first property.
What is the First Home Owners Grant?
The First home owners grant (FHOG) is a scheme introduced by the Australian government in the year 2000 to offset the effect of Goods and Services Tax on home ownership. FHOG is a national scheme and is administered under the state you reside in, which aims to assist first home buyers by providing cash grants to be used during the process of buying their first home.
Who is eligible for the First Home Owners grant?
Eligibility depends on the state or territory you are buying in. However, the conditions listed below are the general eligibility terms. Which are
- Applicants must be aged 18 or over
- At least one applicant must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen
- Applicants must have never owned their own home in Australia
- Applicants cannot apply as a company or trust but only as a person
- Applicants must have never claimed the grant previously
- Applicants must occupy the purchased home as a principal place of residence within the first 12 months of purchase with 12 continuous months of occupancy
What are new and established homes?
New homes and established homes are two terms you’ll be seeing frequently if you’re reading up about first home buyer grants as well as any home building grants.
New homes are generally defined as
- A home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence
- Can be a substantially renovated home
Established/Renovated homes are defined as
- A home that is substantially renovated before purchase
- No occupancy since renovation
There are different eligibility and qualifications based on these terms in different states so do take note which of the following is stated in the specific schemes and grants under state website when doing your research.
The First Home Owners Grants for each state are outlined below
New South Wales (NSW)
NSW offers FHOG of up to $10,000 for new homes of value less than $600,000 and land for buildings of value less than $750,000. Furthermore, there is minimum residency requirement of 6 months instead of 12 months.
As for duty concessions, applicants can look into the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme. Buying a new or existing home valued at less than $650,000 and land valued less than $350,000 allows for a full exemption of transfer duty for first home buyers. Anything above the value cap would get you the concession rates listed in the table below
|Property Type||Normal Duty||Duty after concession|
Applicants in Victoria can receive up to $20,000 with FHOG for buying or building a home valued up to $750,000 for houses located in regional Victoria. If the home is not located in regional Victoria, the grant is up to $10,00. FHOG is only applicable to those buying new homes (established/existing homes are not eligible).
As for duty concessions, first home buyers get to enjoy a full waiver of stamp duty if the home is valued below $600,000. For homes from $600,000 to $750,000 they will get to enjoy a concession at the rates listed below
|Dutiable Value||Normal Duty||Duty After Concession|
Queensland has a FHOG grant of $15,000 towards buying and building a new home that has a market value of less than $750,000. The grant eligibility is standardised as mentioned above but the minimum residency requirement is 6 months instead of 12 months. This means that applicants must move into the home as a principal place of residence and live there continuously for 6 months minimum.
QLD offers home concession in two types. First home concession is offered of up to $15,925 for homes valued under $550,000 whereas Home concession is offered of up to $7,175 applies to the first $350,000 of the value of the residence. For first home buyers, it is best to take advantage of the first home concession instead of the Home concession as the Home concession is capped at $7,175.
Queensland state government also offers a regional home building boost grant, which is the initiative to help owners move into their new home sooner. It will give applicants $5,000 after the construction of a brand new home with a market value of that at less than $750,000. This grant is valid till 31 December 2020 and to be eligible for this grant, the applicant must be
- Contracted to buy a new home
- Contracted to build a new home
- Building a new home by an owner-builder
South Australia (SA)
South Australia has FHOG of up to $15,000 for new homes with a market value cap of $575,000 and removed FHOG for established homes. Do take note that market value for building contracts are differently calculated as it combines the construction price and the price of land at the time of build, it essentially means that construction price + price of land can not exceed $575,000 to qualify for FHOG.
Do take note that the Off-the-plan concession for stamp duty is no longer available as of 2018 onwards.
Western Australia (WA)
Western Australia offers FHOG of $10,000 or consideration consideration paid to buy or build the house if less than that amount for purchasing or building a new home. There is a market value cap of the grant depending on where the home is located. For homes located on the South of the 26th parallel, the value of land and building cannot exceed $750,000 to be eligible for the grant. All Perth metropolitan areas are south of the 26th parallel. For homes located on the north of the 26th parallel, the value of land and building cannot exceed $1,000,000 to be eligible for the grant.
WA also offers the first home owner rate of duty for people who are a resident of the Indian Ocean Territory and qualify for FHOG. They get to enjoy a concession on duty rates as listed below
|Dutiable Value||First Home Owner Rate Of Duty|
|$0 - $430,000||No duty payable|
|$430,001 - $530,000||$19.19 per $100 or part thereof above $430,000|
|$530,001 +||You may be eligible for the residential rate of duty|
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
ACT has a grant of $7,000 to fund the purchase of a new or substantially renovated home that is valued up to $750,000. However the FHOG is no longer in effect from 1 July 2019 as it has been reintroduced under a new scheme which is called the Home Buyer Concession Scheme.
The Home Buyer Concession Scheme allows for buyers in the ACT to pay no duty with no cap on the value of the house, unlike the FHOG, which does not disburse grants for houses valued above $750,000. However, there are household income thresholds depending on the combined income of applicants and dependent children.
|Number of Dependant Children||Total Gross Income Threshold|
|5 or more||$176,650|
Northern Territory (NT)
New homeowners can receive a grant of up to $10,000 for FHOG and it has no market value cap for new homes purchased. However, if you’re looking to buy an established property as your first home, there is also the Home Renovation Grant which allows you to receive up to $10,000 for renovations and improvements to the dwelling. The application period of the home renovation grant closes at 5 pm 30 November 2020.
If you’re buying an established home instead of a new home, you can look into applying for the territory home owner discount, which can get you up to $18,601 off stamp duty.
Northern Territory also offers a Household Goods Grant which allows first home buyers to get $2,000 to buy household goods like furniture and appliances. Applicants who are eligible for FHOG can apply for this grant.
Tasmania state offers FHOG of up to $20,000 for applicants who purchase or build a new home between 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2022. FHOG can not be applied together with the Tasmanian HomeBuilder grant under the same transaction but can be applied together with the Commonwealth HomeBuilder grant instead.
Tasmania also has the Tasmanian HomeBuilder Grant which is a $20,000 grant available for home builds contracts between 4 June 2020 to 31 December 2020. The other homebuilding grant would be the Commonwealth HomeBuilder Grant which offers $25,000 for building and renovating an existing home for contracts signed by 31 December 2020.
Duty concessions are also available in the form of a 50% discount for first home buyers of established homes which have a dutiable value of $400,000 or less. The eligibility criteria are that applicants must be a first home buyer and purchase is made between 7 February 2018 and 30 June 2022.
With the above breakdown we hope that you now understand more about the home grants available across different states and the eligibility criteria, as well as more information about stamp duty concession to aid you better with financing for your first home. If you’re looking for a home loan, we’ve covered that topic in more detail previously and you can click here to read it.
*This information is up to date as of 6 November 2020 with reference to the various state and territories revenue websites*