Every state and territory offer cash grants to first-time home buyers to assist them with the cost of purchasing a residential property. The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) was introduced in 1 July 2000 to offset the impact of the GST and boost homeownership in the country.
The FHOG is a one-off grant payable to first-time buyers who are either purchasing an existing home that has never been lived in or constructing an entirely new house. However, the grant amount and eligibility requirements vary in each state and territory. This article serves as a guide for first-time home buyers on how much grant each state offers and how they can qualify.
Who is eligible for the First Home Owners Grant?
The eligibility requirements vary slightly in each state and territory. There are some state-specific criteria but generally applicants must meet the following to qualify:
- Must be a first home buyer as a person, not as a company or trust
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen, or applying with someone who is
- Applicant or applicant’s 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
- Applicant or applicant’s spouse, or partner cannot have lived in a residential property, which they owned from 1 July 2000
- Must not have claimed the grant previously or applying with someone who have
- Must occupy the home as principal place of residence (PPOR) within 12 months of the construction or purchase and the minimum occupancy period is 12 continuous months
State-by-state grants and concessions
New South Wales
NSW offers a $10,000 FHOG for the purchase of a new home worth up to $600,000 or for buying land where a new home will be constructed, with the combined land and dwelling value not exceeding $750,000.
First home buyers are also eligible for an exemption from transfer duty for new homes valued less than $800,000 and existing homes not exceeding $650,000, starting 1 August 2020. They can also get transfer duty concessions for new homes worth between $800,000 and $1m, and existing homes valued at $650,000 to $800,000. For vacant land where a new home will be built, no transfer duty applies if the land is worth less than $400,000. Concessions rates only apply for land between $400,000 and $500,000.
First-time owners in Queensland can get a $15,000 grant for properties worth less than $750,000. The state government is also giving a $5,000 grant for first home buyers building a new house, unit, or townhouse in regional Queensland worth $749,999 or less. However, building contracts must have been entered into between 16 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.
Stamp duty concessions are also available for properties valued up to $550,000 or vacant land up to $400,000. Concessions also vary depending on the purchase price.
South Australian first home buyers can receive up to $15,000 for the purchase and construction of new homes worth up to $575,000. The state does not provide stamp duty concessions for first-time property owners but they may qualify for an off-the-plan stamp duty exemption if they buy a new or substantially refurbished apartment valued up to $500,000.
Tasmania offers a $20,000 FHOG for the purchase and construction of a new home, or buying an off-the-plan property. First-time buyers of established homes are also eligible for a 50% discount on stamp duty if the property is worth up to $400,000.
First-time buyers in Victoria can qualify for a $10,000 grant for urban dwellings and a $20,000 grant for regional homes worth up to $750,000. Buyers of properties below $600,000 are also exempt from paying stamp duty while a concession is available for homes valued between $600,001 and $750,000.
Western Australia provides a $10,000 grant for first-time buyers of new homes worth up to $750,000 if they are located south of the 26th parallel and for properties north of the 26th parallel valued up to $1m.
Stamp duty exemptions and concessions are available when purchasing homes less than $530,000 and vacant land less than $400,000.
Australian Capital Territory
ACT’s FHOG has been replaced by the Home Buyer Concession Scheme, which provides a full stamp duty concession for eligible applicants.
Northern Territory gives a $10,000 FHOG to buyers purchasing or constructing a new home, regardless of the property’s value. An up to $18,601 Territory Home Owner Discount (THOD) on stamp duty costs is also available to first-time buyers.
For more details about what other grants are available to property buyers, including state-specific eligibility criteria, visit the following resources:
Office of State Revenue New South Wales
Government of South Australia
Tasmania Government – Department of Treasury and Finance
State Revenue Office Victoria
Government of Western Australia
ACT Revenue Office
Northern Territory Government