Australia's First Home Owners Grants and concessions: how do they work?

What is the First Home Owners Grant, and what grants and/or concessions are currently on offer in your state or territory?

What is the First Home Owners Grant?

The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) in Australia is designed to encourage and assist homeownership across the country, and for eligible borrowers it can be a helpful bridge towards life as a property owner. The size of the grant and the eligibility criteria attached to it differ in each state and territory, but in most places it applies to first-time property owners who are either purchasing an existing home that has never been lived in, or building an entirely new home

These grants are different to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), which was launched on 1 January, 2020. Under this scheme, the Australian Government will partially guarantee some low-deposit loans a year, for eligible low- and middle-income earners who have saved up a deposit of as little as 5% of a property’s value, which could help these borrowers avoid the cost of lender’s mortgage insurance. That scheme can potentially be used in conjunction with other state and territory grants, as well as any incentive or deal your home loan provider may offer to first home buyers

There’s also the Australian Government’s HomeBuilder Scheme. Announced in an attempt to combat the downturn that the construction industry has seen in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this offers a $25,000 grant to eligible people planning on either building a new home or undertaking large-scale renovations to an existing home. 

While some of these incentives and schemes may be used at the same time on a single property, be sure to check carefully if that’s the case, as there may be exclusions. Here’s an overview of some of the first home owner grants, concessions and other incentives you may be eligible for at the time of writing.

ACT

As of July 2019, our nation’s capital does not offer any first home owner grants to first home buyers, but it does offer a means-tested full stamp duty concession to all first home buyers on all properties.

The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in ACT. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

New South Wales

From 1 July 2017, the NSW government announced several reforms to improve affordability for first home buyers. Chief among these are:

  • A $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for builders of new homes up to $750,000, and for purchases of new homes up to $600,000
  • No stamp duty for all homes up to $650,000
  • Stamp duty reductions on homes up to $800,000
  • No insurance duty on lender’s mortgage insurance

You must live in the home you buy for at least 6 months in the first year of owning the property in order to receive the grant (unless you work in the Australian Defence Force).

You may also be eligible for an exemption from transfer duty if you buy a new home valued up to $550,000, or vacant land up to $350,000. You can get a concession on the transfer duty for new homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000, or vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.

Find out more here. The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in NSW. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

Northern Territory

In the top end, the Northern Territory Government offers a First Home Owner Grant of $10,000 for first home buyers buying or building a new home or an established home. First home buyers in the Territory may also be eligible for the BuildBonus grant (for the building of new homes) and/or the Territory home owner discount, which is a stamp duty discount of up to $18,601. 

First home owners in the Northern Territory may also be eligible for: 

  • A Home Renovation Grant of up to $10,000 for eligible recipients of the above First Home Owner Discount.
  • A Household Goods Grant of up to $2,000 for purchasing household goods, granted to eligible recipients of the First Home Owner Grant.

The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in NT. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

Queensland

First home buyers in Queensland may be eligible for the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant. .

This grant offers $15,000 for eligible first home buyers who are buying or building a new home up to the value of $750,000 – including off-the-plan homes

The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in Queensland. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

South Australia

On offer for eligible first home buyers in SA is a $15,000 grant for new residential dwellings valued at up to $575,000. You must live in the property for at least six months in the first year of owning it to be eligible for the grant.

The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in South Australia. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

Tasmania

In the Apple Isle, the First Home Owner Grant is $20,000 for buying or building a new home, including a “kit” home, off-the-plan home, or owner/builder home. 

First home buyers may also be eligible for a 50% stamp duty discount if the property has a dutiable value of $400,000 or less. 

The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in Tasmania. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

Victoria

Victoria offers a grant of up to $20,000 for first home buyers building or buying a new home in regional Victoria, or up to $10,000 for these types of homes in cities. The maximum purchase price of eligible new homes is $750,000, and the home must be less than five years old.

In addition, first home buyers may be eligible for various concessions on their stamp duty:

  • Both new homes and established homes are eligible for a first home buyer duty exemption if the home is valued at $600,000 or less, or a concession for a principal place of residence (PPR) with a dutiable value between $600,001 and $750,000 .
  • New and established homes valued up to $550,000 are eligible for a PPR concession if you intend to live there as your primary home.
  • First home buyers with a family (at least one dependent child) may be eligible for a duty concession or exemption on a property valued at up to $200,000.
  • First home buyers purchasing an off-the-plan property or refurbished lot may be eligible for an off-the-plan duty concession.
  • Young farmers buying their first farmland property may be eligible for a young farmer’s duty exemption or concession on properties worth less than $750,000.

The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in Victoria. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

Western Australia

In the west, eligible first home buyers can receive a First Home Owner Grant of up to $10,000 for buying or building a new home. Homes south of the 26th parallel (including all of the Perth metropolitan area) can have a total value of up to $750,000, whereas homes located north of the 26th parallel can be valued at up to $1 million.

Eligible first home buyers can also apply for the Home Buyers Assistance Account, which is a grant of up to $2,000 to cover the incidental expenses of purchasing an established or partially built home through a licensed real estate agent in WA. It is available for properties with a purchase price of up to $400,000.

The comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for first home buyers in Western Australia. Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K with an LVR of 80% of the property value. Please note this table has been sorted by current rate (lowest to highest), followed by provider name (A-Z).

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning

A final tip on the First Home Owners Grant

Grants and concessions on stamp duty can change from time to time, sometimes without a lot of notice. Keep up to date with what’s available in your state and thoroughly double-check eligibility requirements before you buy. Asking questions now could save you trouble down the track. 

Compare how mortgage products from different institutions measure up across Australia with our latest First Home Buyer Award report or compare home loans for first home buyers on our website. You can also check your credit score with Canstar

You can also get an idea of how much you can borrow via our Home Loan Borrowing Power Calculator, or get started comparing home loans for first home buyers:

This article was reviewed by our Sub-editor Tom Letts and Finance Editor Sean Callery before it was published, as part of our fact-checking process.

 

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