Government incentives for first home buyers
- 15 August 2017
If you’ve been dreaming of owning your own home, you’ll be excited to hear that the federal and state governments are eager to make this a reality for more first home buyers. There are a number of incentives and grants around the country right now, which can help you into your first home; making this a fantastic time to consider buying a property. Depending on the state you live in, the area you’re hoping to buy in, and the amount you’re planning to spend, there are a range of options available. We’ve created a guide to help you understand what incentives and grants may apply to you.
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)
Introduced in the year 2000, the First Home Owner Grant scheme was designed to offset the burden of GST on ownership for first home buyers. Although a national plan, the scheme is funded by the states and territories, and falls under each state’s legislation. If you meet the eligibility requirements for the state in which you wish to purchase, you’ll receive a one-off payment to help you with the cost of your first home.
The government is keen to help Queenslanders into their first home, by providing between $15,000 and $20,000 to first home buyers who meet certain eligibility criteria. This grant could help you into your first home sooner than you thought, and it could also help you by increasing your purchasing power. To meet the eligibility criteria, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- Have not previously owned property in Australia
- Be purchasing a new home under $750,000
You might note that the grant applies to new homes, which is a great incentive for first home buyers to purchase a brand new property, rather than an existing home. You can check your eligibility for the grant here.
New South Wales
New South Wales also provides grants to first home buyers to contribute to the costs of purchasing a new property. The eligibility requirements are very similar, however there are a couple of important differences, including:
- The grant is for $10,000 for contracts after 1st January 2016 (previously $15,000)
- The value of the property must not exceed $600,000 for new home purchases, or;
- $750,000 for contracts to build a new home
The New South Wales government also offers first home buyers assistance, in the form of the First Home Buyers Assistance scheme. Established in 2017, and taking effect from the 1st of July, the scheme aims to reduce the costs of purchasing a new home, by providing exemptions on certain taxes or transfer duties (stamp duty). These include:
- Exemption on new and existing homes valued up to $650,000
- Concessions on new and existing homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000
- Exemptions of vacant land valued up to $350,000 (where the land is purchased with a view to build a first home)
- Concessions on the transfer duty for vacant land purchased for between $350,000 and $450,000
This scheme, along with the FHOG are designed to make purchasing your first home less costly. They are also great incentives for first home buyers to consider purchasing a new home, rather than an existing home; thus helping to develop much-needed new residential properties in Australia.
In an effort to encourage both first home buyers, and the development of regional areas, the Victorian government offers the First Home Owners Grant at two different rates. For those purchasing new homes valued under $750,000 in metropolitan Victoria, a grant of $10,000 is applicable. The grant increases to $20,000 however, for those purchasing their first home in regional Victoria.
Furthermore, Victoria also offers exemptions on transfer duty for first home buyers who purchase a new property valued up to $600,000, as well as concessions for homes with a purchase price of up to $750,000. Exemptions and concessions also apply to first home buyers purchasing property off-the-plan, and you can read more about the Victorian incentives for first home buyers here.
Other states and territories
Each other state and territory offers their own version of the FHOG for first home buyers, as well as certain concessions or exemptions on stamp duty. You can select your relevant state here, to find out more about incentives and grants available to you as a first home buyer.
The prospect of buying your first home is an exciting one. Thanks to the government incentives and grants available throughout each state and territory, new homes are an attractive opportunity for first home buyers. To find out more about how you can take advantage of the First Home Owners Grant, and purchase the new home and land that you’ve been dreaming of, get in touch with our team today.