June 2, 2020 Eview Group

First Home Buyers Grant: what is it, who’s eligible and more importantly, how much!?

Ever since COVID-19 made it’s debut here in Australia, the security and stability of our Australian property market has been in the spotlight, with many forecasts and projections suggesting the health crisis will, at some point, effect the national market.

For many agents, the presumption of another negatively influenced property market comes after a year of grit, determination, and hard work, having methodically planned and manoeuvred their way through an already tough market during the early stages of 2019.

However, the minimal trepidation and projected uncertainty across the landscape rings positivity in the ears of first home buyers. With the perfect blend of unpredictability and caution, many first home buyers are trying their luck at snagging a purchase that once may have been considered out of reach. With many first home buyers actively looking to purchase amongst COVID-19, now’s the time to understand what grants are available nationally to first-time purchasers.

What is the First Home Buyers Grant (FHBG)?

Initially introduced back in 2000, the FHBG has had many updates and changes to eligibility and funding criteria over the years. Although the scheme was introduced at a national level, each individual state and territory disperse funds and check eligibility individually.  In the early stages, the FHBG was to help off-set the introduction of GST, yet quickly became a stimulus tool for each state to help combat the continuation of growing house prices.

The FHBG provides a sum of money to first home buyers, to help with legal fees, or additional fees applied during the purchase of the property.

The National Bank of Australia, suggests you must meet the following criteria to be eligible to receive the FHBG:

  • It’s only available to first home buyers. You—and your spouse/partner—can’t have owned property before.
  • You can only receive the grant once.
  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (may vary by state/territory).
  • You must be a ‘natural’ person. In other words, a real human, not a company or a trust.
  • You must live in the house for at least six months once it’s built.
  • Most states and territories have a minimum age requirement (usually 18).
  • Maximum purchase price is between $575,000 and $750,000 (depending on state/territory).
  • In almost every instance, the property must be either new or ‘substantially renovated’ (ie. much more than just a new kitchen).

(nab.com.au)

According to finder.com, an online comparability site who recently unveiled a state-by-state de-bunkering of the FHBG, found each state provided their first home buyers with a slightly different benefit, each matching their more localised market. We broke it down, below:

State Grant offered Grant Amount ($) Constraints on Property
Queensland Yes $15,000 For the purchase or construction of new homes.
The value of the property must be under $750,000.
New South Wales Yes $10,000 For the purchase or construction of new homes.
The value of the construction or a newly constructed
property must be under $600,000. If buying land to build a property
the combined land and dwelling
valued must be less than $750,000.
ACT Yes $7,000 For the purchase or construction of new, or substantially renovated homes.
The value of the property must be under $750,000.
Victoria Yes $10,000 For the purchase or consruction of new homes valued
at up to $750,000 in metropolitan Melbourne. A $20,000 First Home Owner Grant is
available for the purchase or construction
of new homes in regional Victoria valued
up to $750,000.
South Australia Yes $15,000 For the purchase and construction
of new homes valued up to $575,000.
Western Australia Yes $10,000 For the purchase or construction of 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.
Northern Territory Yes $10,000 For purchase or construction of a new home.
No limit applies to the value of the property
you buy or build.
Tasmania Yes $20,000 For buying a new home, buying a home off the plan or building a new home. This will reduce to $10,000 from 1 July 2020.

(Finder.com.au)

Additional grants or concessions?

The Australian Government are actively encouraging first home buyers to secure a home and enter the property market and have recently introduced many schemes to ease unaffordability whilst trying to enter their local property market.

Finder.com.au explained further suggesting, the government’s ‘First Home Buyers Assistance scheme provides first home buyers with exemptions from transfer duty on new homes valued at less than $650,000 and concessions for new homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

Each state, however, has further eligibility guidelines in place to best match their localised marketplace, so make sure you research your eligibility within your home state to minimise your initial outlay!

How we can help

As agents, we’re often asked about FHOG’s and other potential concessions, and hence, have a responsibility to stay across the many government schemes introduced as a means of encouraging first home buyers into the property game.

If you’re a first home buyer looking at entering the property market and would like some further information around where to start or what to tackle, our agents are ready and waiting to help guide you in the right direction. To find out more about how an Eview Group agent can help you, visit www.eview.com.au.