First Time Home Buyer Grants by State
Buying a home for the first time is a massive financial decision. It can seem like a risk even if you have a regular income and a good amount of savings.
The Australian government makes property purchases more attractive by offering state-specific first home buyer grants.
Ahead, we’ll take a look at what grants and concessions state governments offer, as well as the general eligibility terms you’ll need to meet to qualify for the grant.
- First Home Owner Grants (FHOG) are a way for the government to incentivise young Aussies to enter the housing market.
- While the eligibility criteria vary from state to state, there are some general guidelines you need to follow to qualify./li>
- The amount you receive from the grant depends on the state in which you’re buying as well as the value of the property./li>
What is a First Time Home Buyer Grant?
Home ownership is a goal for many young Australians, but it doesn’t always seem possible. You might enter the market with aspirations of owning a house in five years, only to have them dashed by fluctuating prices and unexpected expenses.
The Australian government created the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) in 2000 to make the dream of homeownership more feasible. These state-specific grants make it easier for young Aussies to purchase their first piece of property.
Most of these grants apply to smaller homes, with caps on the house’s value at the time of purchase. They are designed to attract new buyers who might otherwise wait to enter the housing market for the first time.
Grants by State
The grant amount and criteria vary depending on the state, so it’s important to know which grant applies to you.
In this section, we’ll take a look at what each state offers regarding first time home buyer grants, so you can get an idea of how these grants can help you purchase your first house.
New South Wales
New South Wales has notoriously expensive housing, but the state government has been taking steps to ease the burden on first-time buyers through grants and concessions.
The housing demand is high, especially in Sydney, and the NSW government is working to boost the supply by increasing taxes for foreign investors.
NSW offers first-time home buyers the following grants:
- First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, which provides exemptions on stamp duty for homes up to $650,000 and reduced stamp duty for homes between $650,000 and $800,000.
- First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme, which provides $10,000 for the purchase of a new home up to $600,000, or construction of a new home up to $750,000.
The state government in Victoria offers an FHOG of $20,000 for anyone buying or building a new home valued up to $750,000 in regional Victoria. Those who are buying outside of regional Victoria may qualify for a $10,000 FHOG grant.
There is a long list of exemptions and concessions that Victoria offers as well. These include:
- First home buyer duty exemption or concession: stamp duty exemption for a principal place of residence (PPR) valued up to $600,000, and reduction for a PPR valued between $600,001 and $750,000.
- Off-the-plan concession: duty concession for off-the-plan property (land and building or refurbished lot)
- Pensioner Concession: pensioners can receive a duty exemption or concession for homes valued up to $750,000/li>
- Principal Place of Residence (PPR) concession: duty concession on homes up to $550,000 that are intended as primary homes.
- First home owner family exemption/concession: stamp duty exemption for homes valued up to $150,000, and a concession for homes valued up to $200,000. Applies to families with a dependent child.
- Young farmer’s concession: duty exemption or concession for young farmers buying their first farmland property./li>
The Queensland government offers a grant of $15,000 towards buying your new first home, as long as it’s valued under $750,000. This grant was recently reduced from $20,000, so the amount you receive may depend on your contract date.
- A $15,000 grant is given for eligible homes with contracts dated between October 2012 and 30 June 2016 or 1 July 2018 and later./li>
- A $20,000 grant was given for contracts dated from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018./li>
First home buyers may also be eligible for stamp duty concessions if your home is valued under $550,000. Concessions are also available to first home buyers purchasing vacant lots valued under $400,000.
Australian Capital Territory
ACT residents can receive a $7,000 grant for purchasing a new home plus land valued at $750,000 or less. This grant will end for transactions commenced after 30 June 2019.
You can also use this grant for substantially renovated homes that have not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence. “Substantially renovated” does not apply to cosmetic upgrades, minor improvements like kitchen and bathroom reworks, or a renovation that’s isolated to a single part of the building.
Conveyance duty concessions are also available to home buyers purchasing new homes; terms and conditions apply.
Those buying their first home in South Australia may be able to receive up to $15,000 in funding for new houses valued at $575,000 or less. This grant excludes those who are purchasing established homes.
There was a previous off-the-plan stamp duty concession on apartments, but this ended on 30 June 2018.
Western Australia offers a $10,000 grant to those who are buying or building a new home for the first time.
The government caps the value of a home that’s south of the 26th parallel at $750,000, and cap homes north of the 26th parallel at $1,000,000.
There is also a stamp duty concession for home + land packages valued under $530,000 and vacant lots under $400,000.
The Northern Territory has the most generous FHOG in the country. The NT government offers a grant of up to $26,000 on a new home, with no limit on the property’s value.
The NT also offers the first home owner discount, which provides a discount on stamp duty for first home buyers purchasing an established property. These are homes that have been sold or lived in before. Discounts of up to $23,928.60 are available.
Eligible first time buyers may receive a $20,000 grant when buying or building a new home. This offer will remain in place for transactions commencing through 30 June 2019. From 1 July 2019, the grant amount will decrease to $10,000.
Tasmania recently introduced legislation that allows first home buyers to save up to $7,000 in duty costs when purchasing established homes of up to $400,000.