Going to buy or built you home for the first time? First homebuyer grant is specifically targeted at you. It is available in each state. But to get the aid, remember there are a number of eligibility requirements for the grant which vary from state to state.
Under the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme, all those who have bought their first home or are planning to buy a new building or home, there is good news for you. You may qualify for a $10,000 grant if your purchase date was on or after 1 January 2016.
You can without any hesitation claim for your grant if you pass the following conditions:
- Your newly constructed home or a substantially renovated home has a total value less than $600,000
- The land for building and any dwelling you intend to build has a combined value less than $750,000.
Let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements for this grant:
When you buy your home:
- You must be an individual, not a company or trust
- You must be an adult; i.e. over 18 of age
- One person must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. It can be you or the person you’re buying with.
- The purchase date of your home must be on or after 1 January 2016.
You won’t be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant in case you or your spouse:
- Already owned or co-owned a home in Australia or
- Have already received an Australian first home owner grant.
If you ever purchased a residential property after 1 July 2000 and never lived in it for more than six continuous months, you may still be eligible for the grant.
You or the other first homebuyers who have just bought the property with grant must move into the newly bought home within 12 months after buying the property and make sure to live there for at least six continuous months.
After the construction is completed, you must move into the new house within 12 months.
For the members of the Australian Defence Force, they have the privilege to be exempted from the six-month residence requirement, as long as all buyers are on the New South Wales electoral roll.
In Victoria, when you first purchase or invest in a new house, a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is obtainable.
For contracts signed from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020, the FHOG is $20,000 for homes built in regional Victoria.
The conditions applied are;
- Your first home can be a house, townhouse, apartment, unit or similar. It must be valued at $750,000 or less, be the first hand sale of the property as a residential space and the house must be less than five years.
- It shouldn’t be a property for investment or a vacations / holiday house.
The timing of your FHOG payment completely depends on the contract you sign to construct or purchase your new home, and also on the fact that either you register your application directly with us or through an official agent.
Following are the conditions applied to you and your spouse under which you are not entitled to the FHOG:
- Already received a first-home owner grant in Australia.
- Either together or separately, owned any home or any residential property in Australia, before 1st July 2000.
- Lived in a house which either of you partly or completely owned for a continuous period of at least six months, after 1 July 2000 in Australia.
But the eligibility for the FHOG remains intact if you or your spouse/partner bought a property on or after 1 July 2000 but have not lived there as your own home.
Moreover, to get the FHOG at least one of the applicants:
- Must inhabit the purchased property as their primary place of residence (PPR) at least for 12 months, starting just after the completion of construction or within12 months of settlement.
- Be18 years of age or over (discretionary)
- Be a permanent Australian resident or citizen.
- For the purchase of a new home – as at the date when the applicant/s possesses the home under the contract, which normally happens on the date of payment.
- For entering into a comprehensive building contract – as at the date when the building is ready to be adopted a place of residence, which normally happens when construction of the building is completed.
Under s32 of the Migration Act 1958, New Zealanders who hold a special category visa or any person holding a permanent visa under s30(1) are treated and considered permanent residents of New Zealand for these purposes.
The citizens of New Zealand must be living in Australia when the eligible process is under completion phase.
The Queensland’s state government took the initiative to give the first home owners their grants sooner.
Prior to the date of your contract, you’ll get $15,000 or $20,000 near to you’re purchasing or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000). It is to note that the grant is paid per new home and instead of each of the applicants for the same home.
You can purchase the already developed plan or build one for yourself.
To be eligible for the grant:
- You must be 18 years of age.
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying with someone who is).
- You or your spousemust not have a lived in a previously owned property in Australia.
- You must be buying or constructing a brand new home.
- The home including the land must worth less than $750,000.
- You must reside into the new home as your primary place of residence and live there for 6 continuous months within 1 year of the completed transaction.
The worth of the grant is contingent on your contract date:
- $15,000 for contracts dated
- October 2012 to 30 June 2016
- 1 July 2018 or later
- $20,000 for contracts dated from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018.
The WA’s first home owner grant calls for a one-off payment for first home buyers to encourage them to buy or build a residential property and use as their residence.
The first home owners qualify for the grant if they are either acquiring an established home or if building or purchasing a new home. The grant has:
- Geographical caps on the total value of the home
- Residence requirements, and
- Pre-requisites or eligibility criteria for applicants
A person would only be eligible, for the first home owner grant if the dutiable property value is less than a certain threshold.
Eligibility requirements for the grant
To be entitled for the first home owner rate of duty, candidates must fulfill the following criteria:
- The aspirant must be an individual (i.e. not a company), be 18 years or over at the time of applying. For those under 18, an exemption from the age requirement may be able applied.
- At the time of applying, one of the applicants must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of the country.
- Applicants and/or their spouses or de facto partners must not have:
- formerly received the grant from any jurisdiction in Australia
- owned residential property anywhere in Australia before 1 July 2000
- in possession any residential property in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and lived there as home before 1 July 2004
- possessed residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and inhabited that property as home for a continuous period of six months that began on or after 1 July 2004.
- Aspirants of the grant must occupy the home as their living place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months commencing within 12 months of payment if purchasing a home, or within 12 months from the time of completion if building a home.
- Applicants own the home in their own capacity and hold a pertinent interest (ownership) in the land on which the home is built. In case they own the home as a trustee, the agreement must be on trust with a legally disable person.
The grant for new homes is $10,000, or the consideration paid to buy or build the house:
- Eligible transactions conducted between 1 January and 30 June 2017, an additional $5,000 may be available.
- Eligible transactions conducted between 1 July 2000 and 24 September 2013, the grant was $7,000 or the consideration paid if less than that amount.
There is no grant available for established homes. Though, owners of established homes are still eligible to apply for the first home owner rate of duty under certain conditions. For further information, see Duties Fact Sheet ‘First Home Owner Rate of Duty’.
Eligibility for the boost
Entitled first home buyers who entered into a contract between 1 January and 30 June 2017 are eligible for a $5,000 boost payment to buy or construct a new home. This boost payment is also available to owner builders who have begun laying foundations of their home within these dates.
The eligibility requirements of the applicants for the existing $10,000 grant:
- The purchase of new home or the contract for construction must be signed between the dates 1 Jan to 30 June 2017.
- Construction must have begun within 26 weeks of the effectiveness of the contract and be completed within 18 months of commencing construction.
- For owner builders – construction must start between 1 Jan to 30 June 2017, and be done by 30 June 2019.
- For a contract to buy an ‘off the plan’ home – the contract must have been initiated between 1 Jan to 30 June 2017, and be completed by 30 June 2019.
Cap on the value of the home
There may an effect on the eligibility of grant to you depending on the value of your transaction. The cap on the total value of the home and land relies on the location of the home:
Value of land and building
South of the 26th parallel
North of the 26th parallel
The 26th parallel (south) is a circle of latitude that is 26° south of the equator. All the Perth’s metropolitan areas lies south of the 26th parallel.
The total worth of a transaction can be determined by applying the following:
- Established, New Home or Off the Plan– more of the consideration for the purchase contract or the unencumbered value.
- Contract to build– total value of the consideration for the contract to build, and the unencumbered value of the land.
- Owner builder– the unencumbered value, at the date the transaction of the home is completed (i.e. total value of the home and land).
In South Australia, FHOG applies to the any new residential property that meets local planning standards anywhere in the city, which includes a house, flat, unit, townhouse or apartment. The grant ceased for already established homes from 1 July 2014.
Each applicant must occupy or inhabit the residential property as principal place of residence or as home for a continuous period of six months starting within 12 months of the settlement date for purchase contracts, and for owner builders or contracts to build, when the construction is completed.
How much is FHOG?
The payable amount of FHOG is totally dependent on the date of purchase contract or when entered into the contract to build a home. For home owners, the date on which construction commenced.
The FHO grant is not split-able, and is payable per eligible transaction irrespective of the number of applicants.
The current grants and concessions available are outlined below:
First Home Owner Grant (from 15 October 2012#)
First Home Owner Grant (1 July 2002 to 14 October 2012#)
Please see the First Home Buyers Grants Table for previous amounts
Housing Construction Grant (15 October 2012 to 31 December 2013#)
If you are purchasing an off-the-plan apartment that meets the required criteria, you may also be eligible for a Off-the-plan Concession (stamp duty) (for eligible contracts entered into between 31 May 2012 to 30 June 2018##)
First Home Owner Grant (from 1 July 2014)
First Home Owner Grant (22 November 2012 to 30 June 2014#)
First Home Owner Grant (1 July 2000 to 21 November 2012#)
It should be noted that if the consideration for the purchase of the property is less than the FHOG and/or additional schemes (e.g. where a property is inherited), the amount of FHOG will not exceed the consideration.
The First Home Buyers Grants Table breaks down the maximum payment available, incorporating the First Home Bonus Grant (FHBG), First Home Owners Boost (FHOB) and the stamp duty First Home Concession (FHC) schemes.
What are the eligibility requirements?
- One of the applicants must be an Australian citizen or must hold permanent residency in Australia. Citizens of New Zealand permanently residing in Australia who hold Special Category Visas may also apply.
- The applicant(s) or their spouse(s)/domestic partner(s) must not have formerly owned a residential property anywhere in Australia prior to 1 July 2000 and occupied it for six continuous months or more.
- All the applicants must occupy the purchased or built property as their principal place of residence for continuous six months starting within 12 months of the eligible transaction.
The responsibility lies with the applicant(s) to satisfy the Commissioner that they have met the residency requirements. Applicants may be called provide to documentation in order to verify this later to support their period of occupancy (e.g. electricity and gas accounts, bank statements, landline and/or mobile phone accounts and household contents insurance policies).
Those applicants who do not meet the residency criterion must contact Revenue SA within 14 days when it first became apparent that the residency requirements would not be met, and grant is to be payed back.
- The applicant must be an individual person (i.e. not a trustee or company) except in the cases of legal disability.
- Every applicant must be18 years of when making application for the FHOG.
- The purchased property has a market value of $575, 000 or less.
A property value cap applies to all the applicants and owner builders who entered into a contract to purchase or built a home or commenced construction on or after 17 September 2010. The property value cap is $575, 000 and applies to the market value of the property purchased or built.
In the contract to purchase a home the market value is:
- The consideration for the purchase of the home; or
- The market value of the property, where the consideration is less than the market value.
The market value of a comprehensive building contract is:
- The sum total of the consideration for the building contract together with the market value of the property on which the home is to be built as at the time of the contract; or
- Where the consideration is less than actual costs, the sum of the actual costs to build the home and the market value of the land on which the home is to be built as at the time, the building contract is made.
In the case of an owner builder the market value is:
- The market value of the property on which the home is situated at the time the home is completed and ready for occupation.
The Tasmanian government decided to extend the First Home Owner Grant for one additional year as part of the 2019-20 State Budget. Now the eligible applicants can have $20, 000, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
The extension is subject to the passage of legislation through the Parliament.
The FHOG is a one-off payment for eligible applicants who wish to buy or build a new home, if they meet a certain eligibility criterion.
An increase of $20 000 payment will be available until and including 30 June 2020, for eligible transactions entered under the extension provision.
The grant for eligible transactions entered into from 1 July 2020 onwards (or for eligible transactions that do not meet the requirements for the increased grant), is $10, 000.
The current eligibility requirements for receiving the First Home Owner Grant applies to applicants for the extended grant.
Eligible transactions are mentioned below:
- A comprehensive contract for home building a new home;
- The construction of a new home by an owner builder (which includes the relocation of a new moveable building); or
- A contract for the purchase of a new home (for example, a spec. home or an off-the plan purchase of a new home).
Where the eligible transaction relates to the construction of a new home, it must be completed (i.e. the home must be built) within 24 months of entry into the transaction.
The NT government’s First Home Owner Scheme grants $26,000 to the owners at their first purchase and is one of the most generous in the country.
In order to be eligible, you need to purchase a new home. This can include a substantially renovated home too. You’ll need to fill out a form and lodge a vendor’s declaration at the time of applying for the grant.
You also must:
- Be buying as a person or people and as a trustee or company
- Be over 18 and a permanent resident (requirement for only one applicant)
- Not have held any interest in a property in Australia prior to 1 July 2000
- Not have owned and occupied a residential property in Australia after 1 July 2010
- Never have previously received the first home owner grant in any Australian State or Territory
- Occupied the property as principal place of residence for at least six months within a year of settlement or upon ending of construction.
Other grants for first homeowners
On a more positive note, the incentives provided to the first home owners, by the NT government doesn’t end here.
If you’re buying or building a new home under the Household Goods Grant scheme, you may be entitled to a payment of $2,000 which you can spend on household goods. This includes:
- White goods such as refrigerators, air conditions and ovens
- “Brown” goods such as televisions, kitchen appliances and computers
- Furniture such as beds, tables, chairs and outdoor settings, and
- General household items such as towels, sheets and kitchenware.
The NT Home Renovation Grant
The NT government may still help you financially, even if you don’t buy a new property as your first home.
First home buyers are eligible for up to $10,000 for an established and renovated property for improving or renovating it. This can be used to pay up to five local business operating in the NT and employing NT residents.
You’ll receive a series of vouchers with a minimum value of $500 on the successful application for this grant. Owner builders and DIY renovators aren’t eligible for this grant.
Under the ACT’s government scheme of First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), the rant is currently $7000, that provides financial assistance to eligible people buying their first new or established home.
The FHOG’s requirements will change from 1 July 2019. Applicants who enter into a transaction with a commencement date on or after this date will not be entitled to the payment.
To be entitled to it, the commencement date for your transaction must be on or before 30 June 2019.
It is when you sign and exchange the contract (not the settlement date) the transaction comes into effective. If you’re building a home, the commencement date is the day the you lay the foundations.
To be eligible for the FHOG you must be:
- Buying a renovated home or off-the-plan home, or building a new home, with a commencement date on or after 1 January 2017
- Building a home as an owner-builder, with starting date on or after 1 January 2017
- The total value of the property (home plus land) must be $750,000 or less
- You must have filled the FHOG application Smart Form, provided all the necessary supporting documents, one year after completing your transaction
- Everyone with a relevant interest in the home must be an applicant
- At least 18 years (the Commissioner for ACT Revenue can exempt you from this requirement if there are good reasons to do so)
- Not a company or trust (except a trustee for a person with a legal disability)
- At least one applicant is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- At least one applicant must:
- Move into the home within 12 months of payment settled or completion of construction; and
- Live in the home as a principal place of residence for a at least one continuous year.
Any applicant or their partner / spouse is not eligible for the FHOG if:
- They have already been granted the FHOG anywhere in Australia
- They possessed or held a pertinent interest in a residential property anywhere in Australia before 1 July 2000, or occupied the property for any period of time
- On or after 1 January 2004, they held a relevant interest in residential property anywhere in Australia, and occupied it for six continuous months or more.
- Depending on the circumstances, any applicant who received the grant and paid it back may be allowed to apply for an additional grant.
Over the years, the FHOG has changed holding different grant amounts, having changes residency requirements and filling of application forms, all depending on the commencement date of your eligible transaction (see Table 1 below).
TABLE 1 – FHOG INFORMATION BY COMMENCEMENT DATE RANGE
1 January 2017 to current
1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016
1 September 2013 to 31 December 2015