First home buyers guide: Grants and assistance in each state and territory The federal and local governments have launched several grants and assistance programs to help their citizens achieve the great Australian dream of owning a home. Find out which of them are available to you today:
First home loan deposit scheme (FHLDS) The FHLDS is an Australian government initiative to support eligible first home buyers to build or purchase a new home sooner. There are currently 27 participating lenders across Australia offering places under the FHLDS.
HomeBuilder HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of a revised $15,000 (from $25,000) to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home (closed 14 April 2021).
States and territories
In most states and territories, all applicants must be an individual, not a company or trust, 18 years of age or above. At least one of the buyers must also be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
First Home Owner Grant First home buyers who intend to purchase or build a new home may qualify for a $10,000 grant under the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme. This is available for: contract to buy a new home; building contract by the landowner; owner of the land building their own home; and some recently renovated homes. The purchase price for a new home must not exceed $600,000, while land and home must be no more than $750,000.
First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme The scheme entitles first home buyers to a concessional rate of transfer (stamp) duty or a total exemption from making the payment altogether. In contrast with the First Home Owner Grant, this scheme applies to buyers of existing homes, new homes, and vacant land on which they intend to build a home. From 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, the thresholds for full exemption are $800,000 for new homes, $650,000 for existing homes and $400,000 for vacant land.
First Home Owner Grant A $10,000 grant is available for buyers intending to buy or build their first new home, while a $20,000 grant is available for new homes built in regional Victoria for contracts signed from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021. The home can be a house, townhouse, apartment, unit, or similar, with the contract price at $750,000 or less.
First home buyer duty exemption, concession, or reduction First homes bought on or after 1 July 2017 may be eligible for an exemption or concession from duty, while those who entered into a contract before the data may be eligible for the first home buyer duty reduction. This scheme applies to both new and established homes, as well as vacant land. The home must be valued at no more than $600,000 for exemption and $600,001 to $750,000 for concession.
First Home Owner Grant For buyers who enter into a contract dated 1 July 2018 or later, the state offers a grant of $15,000 towards buying or building a new house, unit, or townhouse, granted that the value is less than $750,000. The home to be bought or built must be new.
First home concession First home buyers who intend to buy or build a residence or vacant land may be able to claim any one of the following concessions, namely home concession, first home concession, and first home vacant land concession. One does not have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to claim a concession in Queensland, but an additional foreign acquirer duty may apply for foreign applicants.
Queensland Housing Finance Loan This program is available to Queensland residents, with good credit and savings history and a household income under $141,000 per annum, who can afford to buy or build a home but could not secure private finance from banks or building societies. The loan can be used to buy an established house, unit, townhouse or duplex, or to build a house. Upfront costs include a deposit of 2 percent of the purchase price, application fees, mortgage registration fees, and independent financial advice, which can be reimbursed up to $100 once the loan is approved.
First Home Owner Grant Buyers or builders of their first new home may be eligible for a $10,000 grant through a one-off payment. This applies to new residential dwellings only or homes that have undergone substantial renovations.
First home owner rate of duty First home buyers, including those who intend to purchase an established home, may be entitled to the first homeowner rate of duty on the transfer of home or vacant land, provided that the home does not exceed the value of $530,000 and the land does not exceed the value of $400,000. Those who do not qualify for the concessional rate due to exceeding the thresholds may be eligible for the residential rate of transfer duty.
First Home Owner Grant First home buyers could be eligible for a grant of up to $15,000 on the purchase or construction of a new residential home with a market value of $575,000 or less.
HomeBuilder grant This scheme provides a grant of $25,000 to first home buyers and other eligible owner-occupiers who intend to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home or buy an off-the-plan/new home, provided that the contract is signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.
Homestart finance Through this program, loan deposits can start from as low as 3 per cent of the purchase price or property value, with less money to pay upfront.
First Home Owner Grant Residents who purchase or build a new home in Tasmania between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2022 could be eligible for a $20,000 First Home Owner Grant. This can be used in conjunction with the Commonwealth HomeBuilder Grant.
First home buyer duty concession This scheme provides a 50 percent discount on property transfer duty for first home buyers of established homes valued at $400,000 or less and purchased between 7 February 2018 and 30 June 2022.
Home buyer concession More buyers are now eligible to be exempted from paying stamp duty in ACT, provided that they don’t exceed the income threshold based on the total gross income of all buyers and their partners (if any), which range from $160,000 for buyers with no dependent children to $176,650 for buyers with five or more dependent children.
First Home Owner Grant Those who intend to buy or build a new home can now apply for a $10,000 grant. The income and price of the home won’t affect the grant provided.
BuildBonus grant Introduced in February 2019, the grant has been extended to 31 March 2021 to provide new home builders and buyers up to $20,000 for contracts signed before 31 December 2020 and $12,000 for contracts signed between 1 January and 31 March 2021. The date of application will depend on the type of transaction entered (i.e. purchase of a new home or unit, contract to build or owner-builder)
Territory home owner discount For residents buying an established home, a new home, or land to build a new home, the local government offers up to $18,601 off stamp duty, provided that the home is the applicant’s principal place of residence.
Home buyer initiative This initiative assists low- to middle-income earners in the purchase of a new residential property or building on vacant land. Eligibility will depend on annual household income, which must not exceed the limits provided. Income limits range from $80,000 for a household with one person to $127,500 for a household with six or more people.
HomeBuild access The scheme allows access to low deposit home loan options for newly built homes and the purchase of vacant land to build a new home. Purchase prices are limited to $475,000 for two-bedroom properties and $550,000 for properties with three or more bedrooms.