The 2016 guide to the First Home Owner Grant in NSW

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 27th, 2016

NSW FHOG guide feature imageIf you’re a first home buyer in NSW, find out what grants and concessions may be available to you if you’re eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)

Under the FHOG in NSW, there are several schemes which have been developed to help first home buyers get into the property market sooner: The First Home-New Home Scheme, the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme, and the New Home Grant Scheme.

Below we outline the different schemes available for NSW first home buyers to help you decide which one might be relevant for you.

The first home owner grant (FHOG) in NSW

The current FHOG, called the 'First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme' applies only to those buying new homes, and provides eligible purchasers with $10,000 to go towards purchasing or building a new home. This applies to anyone with an eligible transaction occurring after 1 January 2016.

If the eligible transaction occurred between 1 October 2012 - 31 December 2015, then the grant amount is $15,000.

To be eligible for the FHOG, the value of the home cannot exceed certain cap amounts:

Transaction periodCap amount
From 1 January, 2011 - onwards$835,000
From 1 January, 2010 - 31 December, 2010$750,000
From 1 July, 2000 - 31 December, 2009No cap applicable

(Source: The NSW State Office of Revenue)

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First Home - New Home scheme

The First Home - New Home scheme commenced from 1 January 2012. The scheme offers eligible buyers exemptions or concessions on property transfer duty. This includes an exemption from stamp duty for new homes valued up to $500,000 and concessions on duty for new homes valued between $500,000 and $600,000.

New homes

If you want to estimate the concession on a new home valued between $500,000 and $600,000, take the purchase price and multiply it by 0.2249 then subtract $112,450.

The table below outlines the duty concessions available for new homes:

Purchase PriceFirst Home-New Home duty
$600,000no discount

(Source: The NSW State Office of Revenue)

Vacant land

The First Home-New Home scheme also provides a duty exemption on vacant land valued up to $300,000 and concessions for vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.

To calculate the concession on vacant land, take the purchase price and multiply it by 0.1049 and subtract $31,470.

The below table identifies the concessions available for vacant land:

Purchase PriceFirst Home-New Home duty
$450,000no discount

(Source: The NSW State Office of Revenue)

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Eligibility for FHOG

Your eligibility for the FHOG is determined by the conditions of the individual scheme, the property value and the date in which you entered into the eligible transaction.

Generally, you’ll need to satisfy the following (among other criteria) to qualify:

  • Each applicant is a natural person (e.g. not a company)
  • At least one applicant is a permanent resident or an Australian citizen
  • Each applicant must be aged 18 years or older
  • All applicants have not owned a residential property in Australia before July 2000
  • All applicants have not previously owned a residential property for a continuous period of at least six months
  • All applicants have not previously received a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 in any state or territory
  • At least one applicant will occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of 6 months

To find out if you’re eligible for the FHOG, please visit the NSW State Office of Revenue and review the eligibility requirements for the scheme you’d like to apply for.

Check out our complete FHOG guide.

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How to apply for the FHOG

If you’d like to apply for the FHOG, you can do so through your financial institution or through NSW Office of State Revenue.

Keep in mind that you can only lodge an application with NSW Office of State Revenue once you are registered on the property title.

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FAQ about the FHOG

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. However, if you move out before this time, you will be required to repay the grant.

What is a substantially renovated home?

A substantially renovated home is a renovated home that is a new residential property which has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence.

Does my income affect my eligibility?

No. The FHOG grant is not means tested.

Do I have to pay income tax on the grant?

No. The FHOG grant is tax-free.

When do I have to commence building on vacant land?

There is no time limit on when you need to commence building the home. However, the Chief Commissioner must be satisfied that the vacant land is intended to be used as the site of a new home which will be occupied by the applicants.

Can I apply for the First Home Owner grant even if I don’t qualify for the First Home-New Home exemption or concession?

Yes, all eligible applicants can apply for the First Home Owner Grant.

When does my application need to be lodged?

Applications must be lodged within 12 months of completion or settlement of your home.

Can I get the First Home Owner Grant and the $5,000 New Home Grant?

If you receive the First Home Owner Grant, you cannot receive the $5,000 New Home Grant for the same property.

If I inherited a property, can I receive the FHOG for this property?

No. You must be a buyer or builder of the property in order to receive the FHOG. If you received it as a gift or inheritance, you are not eligible for the grant.

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Image: Shutterstock

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