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Help to Buy scheme

The government will help more Australians buy homes by sharing the upfront purchase costs. The catch? The government gets a share of the equity.

What you need to know:

  • Buyers using the Help to Buy scheme can purchase homes with deposits as low as 2%. The government contributes up to 40% of the price.
  • Buyers can also avoid lenders mortgage insurance (LMI). However, the government will own a portion of your home until you repay them later.
  • The scheme will be open to 10,000 buyers a year and is due to start in January 2024.

Who is eligible for Help to Buy?

To take advantage of this scheme, buyers must meet these criteria:

  • Australian citizen aged at least 18 years old
  • Earn $90,000 a year or less. For a couple, it's capped at $120,000 combined.
  • Live in the home for at least 12 months.
  • You can't currently own any land or property.
  • You need to pay for stamp duty (although first home buyers may qualify for exemptions or discounts).
  • You also have to pay all other normal home buying costs, and get approved for a home loan with a lender.
  • The price of the property you are buying needs to fall under the price cap for your region (see table below).

Help to Buy: Property price caps

There's a price cap in place with this scheme. This means that to be eligible to access the scheme, your property's purchase price needs to be at or below the threshold.

Every city and region has a different price cap, reflecting the differences between various property markets in Australia.

City/state regionPrice cap
NSW – capital city and regional centres$950,000
NSW – rest of the state$750,000
VIC – capital city and regional centres$850,000
VIC – rest of the state$650,000
QLD – capital city and regional centres$700,000
QLD – rest of the state$550,000
WA – capital city$600,000
WA – rest of the state$450,000
SA – capital city$600,000
SA – rest of the state$450,000
TAS – capital city$600,000
TAS – rest of the state$450,000
ACT - capital city and regional centres$750,000
ACT - rest of territory$600,000
NT - capital city and regional centres$600,000
NT - rest of territory$550,000

What else do we know about the Help to Buy scheme?

Finder survey: Do Australians know about the government schemes and incentives for buying a home?

Response
Yes43.08%
No29.23%
Unsure27.7%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1112 Australians, December 2023

How does Help to Buy compare to other buyer support policies?

There are many first home buyer support policies from state and federal governments. Most of these policies help Australians enter the market with the following:

The Help to Buy Scheme is similar to the First Home Guarantee Scheme and New Home Guarantee in that you can also avoid LMI and buy with a low deposit. But it will be available not just to first home buyers but to eligible buyers who don't currently own any property.

However, the scheme is unique in that the government is essentially co-buying the property with you. This is because it is a shared equity scheme. The most similar policy is the Victorian government's Homebuyer Fund. In this state scheme, you can buy with a 5% deposit and the state government contributes up to 25% of the price.

The NSW government has also launched a shared equity scheme with similar criteria.

When can I apply for the Help to Buy scheme?

The Help to Buy scheme requires legislation to pass parliament before it comes into effect. Right now, there is no way to apply for the scheme.

It is due to launch in 2024 and when the scheme does begin, the application process will be clearer. But if the Help to Buy Scheme follows the same approach as the First Home Guarantee Scheme, the buyers will need to apply for a home loan with a lender participating in the scheme first.

How can I apply for the Help to Buy scheme?

There are no official details yet on how to apply for the Help to Buy scheme, but it would be through Housing Australia, like the Home Guarantee Scheme. Other programs include:

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24 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    LeannerobboMay 20, 2023

    I am a nurse who has previously owned a home and divorced and no longer own of property. Am I eligible for any help to buy schemes with dependents , aged 53 and single with an income of base 120,000 before tax? Have done a lot of overtime this last year so earnt more than this this last year.

      AvatarFinder
      RebeccaJune 9, 2023Finder

      Hi,

      There may be some schemes you are eligible for, including the Family Home Guarantee, which is available for single parents – https://www.finder.com.au/family-home-guarantee

      Each state has various schemes and support in place as well, so be sure to check your state government website. Otherwise, you might benefit from talking to a mortgage broker who would better be able to understand your circumstances and offer some solutions.

      Thanks,

      Rebecca

    Default Gravatar
    bradMarch 4, 2023

    I brought a investment property in 2007 with my brother and father then sold it around 2010… because of this am I unable for any schemes to help buy a home to live in?

      AvatarFinder
      SarahMarch 5, 2023Finder

      Hi Brad,

      That’s correct, government schemes and grants are available to people who have never owned property before. If you have owned property in the past as an investor, you are no longer considered to be a first home buyer.

    Default Gravatar
    DerekFebruary 12, 2023

    I’ve previously written to the NHFIC who forwarded my enquiry to the Treasury Department who in turn only provided a one page letter stating that the Scheme would only be implemented in due course however consider this to be rather ambigous in terms of timeframe.

    There isn’t any detailed information the NHFIC with regards to the Help to Buy Scheme specifically, they only discuss other current schemes ie. Home Guarantee Scheme, Regional First Home Buyer etc on their website.

    I have also been attempting to research the web for any updates in regards to the scheme including the Australian Parliament live minutes to check for any further updates.

    Are they or would they be any attempts to pursue this matter directly with the relevant Federal Government Ministers ie. principally and possibly The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Minister for Housing Julie Collins MP and/or Treasurer Jim Chalmers.

    It is my understanding the Australian Labor Party made this one of the major centrepiece election promises however the content has now been removed although originally contained some information as the Help to Buy Scheme which implies that the current Labor Government does not intend to follow through with their pre-election commitment.

    No status updates on any of their social media sites, the only updated information when performing a search on say google resulted in a link titled “Core Albanese housing promise turns into budget farce” by the Daily Telegraph. (Unfortunately to access the article requires a subscription).

    It would be greatly appreciated if your organisation is able to provide additional and other information other then the responses to other questions provided by other visitors to the finder website below.

    I hope you are able to read the entirety of this question before responding and providing a response reflective of the questions being asked as opposed to a general response based on any current presupposition ie. Scheme may commence in July 2023.

      AvatarFinder
      RichardFebruary 20, 2023Finder

      Hi Derek,

      We really can’t give you any more information than what’s currently out there. The scheme for now remains a proposal that has not yet been introduced into law as an effective policy.

      You could contact the housing minister as you suggested. But for now we’re all just waiting to see when the scheme will be introduced.

      Sorry we can’t be more helpful to you.

      Kind regards,
      Richard

    Default Gravatar
    AbsJanuary 31, 2023

    Hi there,
    Is there any application to apply for government scheme? Or are there any body to guide me how to apply?

      AvatarFinder
      RichardFebruary 21, 2023Finder

      Hi Abs,

      At this point the federal government has not introduced the scheme via legislation. So there is no application process yet.

      Kind regards,
      Richard

    Default Gravatar
    NicJanuary 29, 2023

    Hi Team.
    Do we have a start date on this scheme in QLD yet? I’m very keen to get on it.

      AvatarFinder
      RebeccaJanuary 31, 2023Finder

      Hi Nic,

      The start date for the Help to Buy Scheme has not been confirmed but it is expected to start in July 2023. You may visit the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) page to keep an eye out for updates. We will also update this page as soon as we get more information.

      All the best,
      Rebecca

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