Western Australia First Home Owner Grant Guide

Rates and Fees verified correct on December 5th, 2016

First Home Buyers WAIf you’re a first home buyer in Western Australia (WA), here’s what you need to know about the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) and duty concessions.

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) provides eligible purchases with a one-off grant of up to $10,000. There are no income or assets tests to qualify for the FHOG.

The current FHOG applies to new residential dwellings only and does not apply to established homes, vacant land, business premises, holiday houses or minor renovations to an existing home.

The 2015-16 State Budget abolished the FHOG of up to $3,000 for the purchase of established homes. This applies to contracts for the purchase of an established home entered into on or after 3 October 2015. However, contracts for the purchase of an established home dated from 25 September 2013 until 2 October 2015 will still be eligible to apply for the FHOG of up to $3,000.

First home owners who entered into a contract to purchase an existing property before this date will be able to receive the FHOG and first home owner rate of duty for a period of 12 months after completion of the eligible contract.

For purchases of established homes who entered into a contract on or after 3 October 2015, the first home owner rate of duty is still offered if the value of the home is less than $530,000.

How to apply for the FHOG

If you’d like to apply for the FHOG, you can access an application form from an approved agent or you can access the application form here (as seen on the Western Australian Department of Finance website).

You can apply for the FHOG and/or FHOR of duty once a contract to purchase or build a home has been signed. Keep in mind that you must apply within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction.

To apply for the FHOG, you must:

  1. Review lodgement guide. This contains relevant information that you must read and agree to before completing your application.
  2. Fill out the application form. Complete all relevant sections of the form (the form can be accessed on the Western Australian Department of Finance website).
  3. Provide supporting evidence. You’ll need to complete the checklist to ensure all required supporting evidence is attached with your application.
  4. Lodge application. Once you’ve ensured that the information you’ve provided is correct, you can submit your application to your approved agent or the Office of State Revenue (OSR).
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Eligibility for the FHOG

To be eligible for the FHOG, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be a natural person (e.g. not a company or trust)
  • Be at least 18 years or over
  • Ensure that at least one applicant is a permanent Australian resident or Australian citizen
  • Ensure that each applicant has not previously owned residential property in Australia before 1 July, 2000
  • Ensure that each applicant and/or their spouse have not previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence before 1 July 2004.
  • Ensure that each applicant and/or their spouse have not previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months that began on or after 1 July 2004.
  • Ensure all applicants reside within the home for a continuous period of at least six months
  • Submit an application within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction
  • For eligible transactions commencing on or after 1 January 2010, ensure the value of the home does not exceed the cap amount. The cap amount is: $750,000 if the property is located south of the 26th parallel of south latitude, or $1,000,000 if located north of the 26th parallel of south latitude.

Supporting evidence

Along with your application, you’ll need to supply proof of identity documents. This includes evidence that at least one applicant is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, such as providing your Australian birth certificate or Australian passport.

You’ll also need to provide evidence of the eligible transaction such as the copy of the contract to purchase or build.

Check the Western Australian Department of Finance website for more information about the supporting evidence you need to offer.

You can lodge your application either with the approved agent who is providing your finance or with the OSR.

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When will the grant be paid?

The time in which you receive the grant will depend on the type of transaction, but the below table outlines when you can expect to receive the grant:

TransactionRelevant bodyGrant payment
Purchase of an established home (for contracts on or before 2 October, 2015)Approved agentAt settlement date
Contract to buildApproved agent or OSRAfter you’ve provided evidence of the date of first construction progress payment and your name is registered on the Certificate of Title.
Purchase of a new or off-the-plan propertyApproved agentAt settlement date

When do I have to move in?

All applicants must live in the home for a continuous period of at least six months commencing within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction. You may be required to verify this later by providing documentation supporting your time of occupancy.

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Our first homeFirst home owner rate of duty

The first home owner rate (FHOR) of duty is available on transfers for eligible purchasers who:

  • Qualify for the FHOG,
  • Would otherwise have qualified for a grant had consideration been paid or for the purchase of an established home,
  • Are an Indian Ocean Territory resident buying their first home

Am I eligible for the FHOR of duty?

The First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 outlines the eligibility requirements for the FHOR of duty. However, a transfer of a home or vacant land upon which a new home will be built may qualify where:

  • The purchaser/s is/are eligible for a grant; or
  • The purchaser/s become/s person to whom a grant would be, or would have been payable to, in relation to the purchase of an established home, a property had consideration been given for the transfer, or for the purchase of a first home by residents of the Indian Ocean Territories
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 FHOR of duty thresholds

Home

Transactions dated past July 2014, for transactions dated before this please see the Western Australia Department of Finance website.

Property Value 

The value of the home must be $530,000 or lower.

Duty

Where the value of the home does not exceed $430,000, no duty is payable.

Where the value of the home exceeds $430,000 but does not exceed $530,000, duty is payable at a rate of $19.19 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $430,000.

Vacant land

Property Value 

The value of vacant land must not exceed $400,000.

Duty

Where the value of the land does not exceed $300,000, no duty is payable.

Where the value of the land exceeds $300,000 but does not exceed $400,000, duty is payable at a rate of $13.01 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $300,000.

(Source: Western Australia Department of Finance)

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How to apply for the FHOR of duty?

To apply for the FHOR of duty, you’ll need to submit an "application for the grant and/or FHOR pre-approval" form with your financial institution or the Office of State Revenue (OSR).

If you’re eligible for the grant, the OSR will notify you of approval with the FHOR of duty application form. You then need to lodge the transaction record, the contract for sale and/or transfer of land) with a completed and signed application form to your settlement agent or directly to the OSR if you’re organising your own settlement.

Home buyers assistance account

The Home Buyers Assistance Account provides first home buyers with a grant of up to $2,000 for expenses of first home buyers when they buy an established or partially built home valued at $400,000 or less.

The home buyers assistance account can be used to cover expenses including mortgage registration fees, conveyancing fees, valuation fees, mortgage insurance premiums and more.

To qualify for the home buyers assistance account, you must satisfy the following:

  • The purchase price of the home is $400,000 or less
  • You must be buying your first home, which is established or partially built
  • All applicants cannot have previously owned any property in WA
  • You must live in the home for at least the first 12 months
  • You must purchase the home through a licensed real estate agent
  • The purchase must be financed through a lending institution (such as a bank, building society or credit union)

To apply for the home buyers assistance account, you must complete the application form which can be obtained from the Western Australian Department of Finance website.

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Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at finder.com.au. Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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