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

What is the First Home Owner Grant, and what grants and concessions are currently on offer to first home buyers in your state or territory?

What is the First Home Owner Grant?

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) in Australia is a one-off government payment designed to encourage and assist would-be first home buyers across the country to purchase a property. 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

In addition to the FHOG, several Australian states and territories offer eligible first-time home owners concessions (reduced rates) or exemptions on stamp duty – otherwise known as transfer duty – which could help these homebuyers further reduce their costs.

What other first home buyer assistance is available in Australia?

These grants and stamp duty concessions are different to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), which was launched on 1 January, 2020. Under this scheme, the Australian Government partially guarantees some low-deposit home loans each year, for eligible low- and middle-income earners who have saved up a deposit of at least 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 grant to eligible people planning on either building a new home or undertaking large-scale renovations to an existing home. The size of the HomeBuilder grant was initially $25,000 but has now been scaled back to $15,000 for contracts signed between 1 January and 31 March, 2021.  

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 in your situation, 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

Our nation’s capital currently 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. These reforms have seen occasional changes over the years since, but at the time of writing, they include:

  • A $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for builders of new homes valued under $750,000, and for purchases of new homes less than $600,000 in value
  • No stamp duty for all homes valued under $650,000, or vacant land under $400,000
  • Stamp duty reductions on homes up to $800,000, or up to $1 million for new homes and $500,000 for vacant land
  • No insurance duty on lender’s mortgage insurance

You must live in the home you buy for at least six months in the first year of owning it in order to qualify as a first home buyer and receive the FHOG and other first home buyer assistance in NSW (unless you work in the Australian Defence Force).



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 buying or building new homes) and/or the Territory home owner discount, which is a stamp duty discount of up to $18,601. 

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 or substantially renovated home up to the value of $750,000 – including off-the-plan homes. To be eligible, you must move into the home you buy within the first 12 months of owning it and live there continuously for at least six months.

Queenslanders who buy in a regional part of the state by 31 March, 2021 may also be eligible for a regional home building grant of $5,000 if the new home they build or buy is valued at 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 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.