Learn the ins and outs of the First Home Owners Grant to see if it applies to you.
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme was introduced by the Australian government on July 1, 2000 to offset the affect of GST on home ownership and to make it easier for young Australians to enter the property market. This national scheme is administered under the laws of each state.
Under this scheme, a one-off grant is typically offered to first home owners that fulfil the eligibility criteria as outlined by the governing state.
Making the decision to purchase a property is important so as a responsible and diligent first home buyer, you should have carefully reviewed your budget, compared different home loans and researched the property market.
Find out which grants and concessions may be available to you so you can pursue your dream of home ownership sooner.
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Below you’ll find the grants and stamp duty concessions available in each state. Remember there are a host of eligibility requirements for the grant and duty concessions which can vary from state to state, so be sure to visit your state’s office of revenue website and find out if you’re eligible.
The eligibility criteria for first home buyers differs slightly between the states and territories but generally, eligibility criteria includes:
- You must be a first home buyer as a person, not as a company or trust.
- At least one applicant must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
- Each applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- You or your 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.
- You or your spouse or partner cannot have lived in a residential property which you owned from 1 July 2000.
- You or your spouse, partner or co-purchaser may not have claimed the grant previously.
- You must occupy your first home as your principal place of residence within 12 months of the construction or purchase of your home and the minimum period of occupancy is six continuous months.
There are other state specific conditions as well, which will depend on the state you’re buying in.
To help you to understand the First Home Owners Grant we have compiled a list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
- What happens if I move out of my home in the first 12 months? If you have lived in your home for a continuous period of six months, you may keep the grant, but if you move out before this time, you will be required to repay the grant.
- Can I apply for the first home owner grant if I'm a temporary resident? Unfortunately first home owner benefits aren't available for temporary residents. They also can't be retroactively applied for once permanent residency is obtained, as you must be eligible at the time of signing the contract.
- I am buying the property jointly with a friend. Do we both have to be eligible? If you are buying the property in conjunction with another person, you must both meet the First Home Owners Grant criteria for the grant to be applicable.
- My partner and I are buying the property jointly and neither of us has owned a property before. Do we each get a grant? No. A single grant is payable per property transaction not per person.
- Does my income affect the grant and is the grant taxed? No, the grant is not means tested and you do not have to pay tax on it.
- What sort of home qualifies me for the grant? An eligible home must be a new or established Australian house, home unit, flat or other type of self contained fixed dwelling that meets local planning standards. The specific rules vary by state.
- Will I be eligible for the First Home Owner if I buy an on-site home in a caravan park? You would qualify for the grant provided the home is fixed (i.e. not moveable), but you would not be eligible if you bought a moveable home such as an unfixed mobile home or a caravan.
- I am buying an existing home. Does that qualify me for the grant or does it have to be a new home? This depends on the state, with many now limiting the grant to purchasers of new or substantially renovated homes.
- I'm buying a home in Australia but I already own property outside Australia, does that mean I don't qualify for the grant? You can be eligible for the grant provided you have not owned property in Australia before.
- I inherited a property. Can I claim the First Home Owner Grant for that? No. You must be a buyer or builder of the property. If you received it as a gift or inheritance you are not eligible for the grant.
Where to from here?
Yes, buying your first home is hard, and yes, saving for your first home deposit is a monumental task.
But while life can be a hard and expensive journey, you can make it easier and more affordable if you hold all the information. Find out more about buying your first home using our first home buyers guide.
It's also useful to compare what home loan rates are to get an idea of what monthly repayments you'll be paying.
Use the table and calculator below to do this.
First Home Buyer Home Loans Comparison
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Saving money for any goal can require dedication, control and perseverance which many of us can find lacking in ourselves especially when the goal is as large as a home loan deposit. That is why the Australian Government introduced the First Home Saver Account in 2008, to make it easier for young Australians to build their home deposit by locking away funds until they're ready to purchase, and even offering government contribution incentives.
However, the Australian government abolished the FHSA scheme on July 1, 2015. This means that all first home saver accounts are now treated like an ordinary held with a provider, and;
- Restrictions on withdrawals were removed on July 1, 2015. Account holders could withdraw and use the balance of their account as they see fit from this date onwards.
- No government FHSA contributions were paid for the 2014-2015 financial year.
- If you were entitled to FHSA contributions for a previous period, the government continued to pay these. If this applies to you, then you need to ensure that you claim any outstanding government FHSA contributions on or before June 30, 2017.
- Tax and social security concessions ceased from July 1, 2015.
From July 1, 2015:
- You can use the funds in your account for any purpose.
- Tax concessions cease.
- Your account is included in any income and asset tests that apply to government benefits.
- You must report interest from your account when you complete your tax return (starting with interest earned in the 2015-2016 income year).