Did you catch our latest My Millenial Money Podcast? If you did, you’ll know that Glen and I are asked so many questions about the First Home Buyers Grant – so allow us to shed even more light on the subject for you! Let’s start with the basics, we’ve got lots to cover.
IS THERE A FIRST HOME BUYERS GRANT IN YOUR STATE?
To the left is a quick State by State breakdown of who’s ‘in’ nation wide. Good news – they’re all on board! Now let’s get into the detail.
STATE BY STATE BREAKDOWN
ACT: Yes. There is a grant of $7,000 to help fund the purchase of a new or substantially renovated home. Properties of $750,000 or less are eligible.
NSW: Yes. The first Home Owner Grant (new homes) scheme offers a $10,000 grant for the purchase or construction of new homes. The value of the property of a purchased property must not exceed $600,000 and the value of a constructed home must not exceed $750,000.
VIC: Yes. The $10,000 First Home Owner Grant is available to eligible applicants buying or building a new home valued up to $750,000. A $20,000 First Home Owner Grant is available to applicants buying or building a new home in regional Victoria valued up to $750,000.
QLD: Yes. The Queensland First Home Owners Grant offers $15,000 to first-time owners buying or building a new home. The grant is available for properties valued at less than $750,000.
WA: Yes. A grant of $10,000 is available if you are buying or building a new home. Eligible properties located south of the 26th parallel of south latitude are limited to $750,000, while properties north of the 26th parallel of south latitude are limited to $1 million.
SA: Yes. A grant of up to $15,000 is available for the purchase and construction of new homes valued up to $575,000.
TAS: Yes. A $20,000 grant is available for buying a new home, buying a home off the plan or building a new home. From 1 July 2019 the grant amount will be $10,000.
NT: Yes. A $26,000 grant is available to eligible applicants who purchase or construct a new home. No limit applies to the value of the property you buy or build.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?
The eligibility criteria for first home buyers differs slightly between the states and territories but generally, eligibility criteria includes;
- You must be a first home buyer as a person, not a company or trust.
- At least one applicant must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
- Each applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- You or your spouse, partner or co-purchaser must not have previously owned an interest in land in Australia which had a residence on it, before 1 July 2000.
- You must occupy your first home as your principal place of residence within 12 months of the construction or purchase of your home and the minimum period of occupancy is six continuous months.
There are other state specific conditions as well, which will depend on the state you’re buying in.
IS THERE A STAMP DUTY CONCESSION IN YOUR STATE?
ACT: Yes. Stamp duty concessions are available on new or substantially renovated properties valued at less than $562,000.
NSW: Yes. The First Home Buyers Assistance scheme provides first home buyers with exemptions from transfer duty on new homes valued up to $650,000 and concessions for new homes valued between $650,000 and concessions for new homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000. No duty is payable by eligible purchasers buying a vacant block of residential land valued at up to $350,000, while concessions are available for vacant land purchased for between $350,000 and $450,000.
VIC: Yes. First home buyers purchasing a new or established home valued below $600,000 will be exempt from stamp duty, while buyers purchasing a new or established home valued between $600,000 and $750,000 will be eligible for a stamp duty concession, applied on a sliding scale.
QLD: Yes. Stamp duty concessions are available if you buy a home valued less than $550,000 or vacant land less than $400,000. The more you pay for your home or land within these limits, the smaller the concession available.
WA: Yes. The First Home Owner Rate of Duty provides exemptions and concessions when purchasing homes valued at less than $530,000 and vacant land less than $400,000.
SA: There are no exemptions specific to first home buyers but you may be eligible for the of-the-plan stamp duty concession if you purchase a new or substantially refurbished apartment, capped at the stamp duty payable on a $500,000 valued apartment.
TAS: No. There are no concessions or exemptions from stamp duty for first home buyers in Tasmania.
NT: Yes. The First Home Owner Discount is available to those who enter into a contract to purchase an established home. This discount is a full concession on the initial $500,000 value of the home, which equates to a saving of up to $23,928.60 on stamp duty. For homes valued above $650,000 and purchased or contracts entered into before 31 December 2016 the concession is capped at $10,000.
And now for the frequently asked questions…
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE OUT OF MY HOME IN THE FIRST 12 MONTHS?
If you have lived in your home for a continuous period of six months, you may keep the grant, but if you move out before this time, you will be required to repay the grant.
CAN I APPLY FOR THE FIRST HOME OWNERS GRANT IF I’M A TEMPORARY RESIDENT?
Unfortunately first home owner benefits aren’t available for temporary residents. They also can’t be retroactively applied for once the permanent residency is obtained, as you must be eligible at the time of signing the contract.
I AM BUYING A PROPERTY JOINTLY WITH A FRIEND. DO WE BOTH HAVE TO BE ELIGIBLE?
If you are buying the property in conjunction with another person, you must both meet the First Home Owners Grant criteria for the grant to be applicable.
MY PARTNER AND I ARE BUYING THE PROPERTY JOINTLY AND NEITHER OF US HAS OWNED A PROPERTY BEFORE. DO WE EACH GET A GRANT?
No. A single grant is payable per property transaction not person.
DOES MY INCOME AFFECT THE GRANT AND IS THE GRANT TAXED?
No. The grant is not means tested and you do not have to pay tax on it.
WHAT SORT OF HOME QUALIFIES ME FOR THE GRANT?
An eligible home must be a new or established Australian house, home unit, flat or other type of self contained fixed dwelling that meets local planning standards. The specific rules vary by state.
WILL I BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE FIRST HOME OWNER IF I BUY AN ON-SITE HOME IN A CARAVAN PARK?
You would qualify for the grant provided the home is fixed (ie. not moveable) but you would not be eligible if you bought a moveable home such as an unfixed mobile home or caravan.
I AM BUYING AN EXISTING HOME. DOES THAT QUALIFY ME FOR THE GRANT OR DOES IT HAVE TO BE A NEW HOME?
This depends on the state, with many now limiting the grant to purchasers or new or substantially renovated homes.
I’M BUYING A HOME IN AUSTRALIA BUT I ALREADY OWN A PROPERTY OUTSIDE AUSTRALIA, DOES THAT MEAN I DON’T QUALIFY?
You can be eligible for the grant provided you have not owned property in Australia before.
I INHERITED A PROPERTY. CAN I CLAIM THE FIRST HOME OWNER GRANT FOR THAT?
No. You must be a buyer or builder of the property. If you received it as a gift or inheritance you are not eligible for the grant.
And we’re done! If your head is now spinning and you’ve got more questions to ask, or you simply want to know what your options going forward, give me a shout or drop me a line, I’m more than happy to chat it through with you and help you on your way. John Pidgeon, Head Property and Finance Educator, Solvere.