Can you buy an investment property and still be eligible for the FHOG?

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

If you buy an investment property, are you still eligible for the First Home Owner Grant? Well, this depends on where you live.

Can you get an investment property and still get the FHOGThe First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) makes it easier for first-time homeowners to buy or build a home. Introduced in 2000, it was designed to counter the detrimental effect of the goods and services tax (GST) on buying or building a home.

The grant is offered as a lump-sum payment to first home buyers who buy or build a residential property and then live in it. The amount you receive from the FHOG and whether or not you are eligible for the grant varies between states and territories, but you can never receive a grant if you’ve already received one elsewhere in Australia.

The FHOG is only available for the purchase of owner-occupied properties, not investment properties. So if you decide to buy an investment property first and then later decide to buy your first home, will you still be eligible for the grant on the latter purchase?

To find the answer, you’ll need to look at the grant regulations specific to where you live.

New South Wales

In NSW, the First Home Owner Grant is managed by the Office of State Revenue (OSR) and offers a grant amount of $10,000 for eligible transactions made on or after 1 January 2016. There are several eligibility requirements that must be met such as being a permanent Australian resident or citizen and living in the home for at least six continuous months. The rules also state that you will be eligible for the grant if “you or your spouse (including de facto spouse) have never held a relevant interest in any residential property in Australia prior to 1 July 2000.”

So you may be eligible for the FHOG if you’ve only had a relevant interest in any residential property in Australia on or after 1 July 2000, if you never resided in that property for at least six continuous months and if you’ve never claimed the grant.

Victoria

Victoria’s State Revenue Office is responsible for offering the $10,000 grant to applicants buying or building their first new home. To be eligible for the grant, you must not have:

  • Received a First Home Owner Grant in Australia
  • Owned a home in Australia, either jointly or separately, prior to 1 July 2000
  • Occupied an Australian home in which either of you acquired a relevant interest on or after 1 July 2000 for at least six continuous months

So if you purchased your investment property on or after 1 July 2000 and you didn’t live in it for a period of six consecutive months, you may be eligible for the FHOG. Check the other eligibility criteria for more information.

Queensland

The Queensland Government’s Great Start Grant offers $15,000 of financial support to residents buying or building a new home. However, in order to qualify for the grant, you or your spouse cannot have previously owned property anywhere in Australia.

So if you’ve previously purchased an investment property, you may not qualify for the Great Start Grant in Queensland.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, the state government’s Office of State Revenue oversees the $10,000 grant for new homes. To be eligible for the grant:

  • You and/or your spouse cannot have owned residential property anywhere in Australia before 1 July 2000
  • You and/or your spouse cannot have previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and lived in that property as a place of residence before 1 July 2004
  • You and/or your spouse cannot have previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and lived in that property as a place of residence for at least six consecutive months that began on or after 1 July 2004

So depending on when you purchased your investment property, you may still be eligible for a FHOG.

South Australia

If you want to qualify for the First Home Owner Grant from RevenueSA, you must be able to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must never have owned an Australian residential property before 1 July 2000
  • Must never have occupied a residential property, in which they acquired a relevant interest after 1 July 2000, for at least six consecutive months

If you satisfy these criteria and meet all other eligibility requirements, you may apply for the grant.

Northern Territory

The Territory Revenue Office offers a $26,000 First Home Owner Grant for the purchase or construction of new homes. You will only be eligible for the grant if:

  • You have not owned residential property in Australia prior to 1 July 2000
  • You have not occupied a residential property in Australia that was owned by you or your spouse on or after 1 July 2000

If satisfy the rest of the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for the FHOG.

Tasmania

Tasmania’s State Revenue Office administers the $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for the purchase and construction of new homes by first home owners. To be eligible for the grant, you and your spouse/partner must:

  • Not have owned a home in Australia before 1 July 2000; and
  • Not have owned and occupied (for more than six months) a home in Australia after 1 July 2000

If you meet all the other criteria, you can apply for the grant.

ACT

The ACT Revenue Office administers the territory’s $10,000 First Home Owner Grant. To qualify for the grant, you and your partner/spouse must:

  • Not have previously owned or held a relevant interest in an Australian residential property prior to 1 July 2000;
  • Not have occupied a residential property in which you acquired a relevant interest anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 but before 1 January 2004; and
  • Not have occupied, for at least six consecutive months, a residential property in which you acquired a relevant interest anywhere in Australia on or after 1 January 2004

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to qualify for the First Home Owner Grant if you have previously purchased an investment property.


For more information about eligibility for the First Home Owner Grant, contact the revenue office in your state or territory, and read our guide on the grant.

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