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First Home Buyer Schemes and Grants Available in Australia 2024

19 January 2024

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Are you dreaming of buying your first home in Australia? Good news! There are several compelling schemes and grants available specifically designed to assist first home buyers like you. Whether you are looking to purchase an existing property or build your dream home from scratch, the government has introduced a range of initiatives to make the process easier and more affordable.

Government Grants and Schemes: 2024 Eligibility Criteria for First Home Buyers

From the First Home Owner Grant to the Home Guarantee Scheme, these programs offer financial assistance, stamp duty exemptions, and even shared equity options. If you are an eligible first-home buyer, these grants and schemes could be your key to entering the property market sooner than you think.

Let’s explore the various options and eligibility criteria to help you navigate the exciting journey of buying your first home.

first home buying guide australia

Home Guarantee Scheme by Housing Australia

The Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS) is a government initiative in Australia designed to assist eligible home buyers in achieving homeownership at an accelerated pace. The administration of the Scheme is carried out by Housing Australia on behalf of the Australian Government. Let’s look at all the grants provided.

First Home Guarantee

The First Home Guarantee (FHBG) is a component of the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS), which is an initiative by the Australian Government aimed at assisting eligible home buyers in purchasing a home at an earlier stage. Housing Australia administers it on behalf of the Australian Government.

-Criteria:

To be eligible for the First Home Buyer Grant (FHBG), applicants must meet certain criteria. These include:

  • Applying as an individual or joint applicant (up to two applicants).
  • Being Australian citizens or permanent residents at that particular time.
  • Being at least 18 years old.
  • Having an income of up to $125,000 for individuals or $200,000 for joint applicants, as indicated on the Notice of Assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Intending to be owner-occupiers of the purchased property.
  • Being first home buyers or previous homeowners who haven’t owned a property in the country in the past ten years.

These eligibility criteria are part of the government’s initiative to support individuals and couples who are looking to secure a home grant and purchase their first home. These criteria are applicable for the years 2023 and 2024.

-Deposit Required

To apply for the First Home Buyer Grant (FHBG), home buyers are required to have a deposit ranging from 5% to 20% of the value of an eligible property. The minimum deposit required is 5%, but Participating Lenders may request a higher percentage based on individual financial situations.

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Family Home Guarantee

The Family Home Guarantee (FHG) is a component of the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS), which is an initiative by the Australian Government designed to assist eligible single parents or single legal guardians with at least one dependent in purchasing a home sooner. Housing Australia administers it on behalf of the Australian Government.

– Criteria

To apply for the Family Home Guarantee (FHG), individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Apply as an individual.
  • Be a single parent or single legal guardian with at least one dependent (refer to Eligible Single Parent and Eligible Single Legal Guardian note).
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have an annual income of no more than $125,000.
  • Intend to be the owner-occupier of the purchased property.
  • Not currently owning any property, or have no intention of owning a separate property upon settlement of the guaranteed property they are purchasing.

– Deposit Required

The FHG is a government initiative aimed at helping home buyers achieve homeownership sooner. To qualify, home buyers need to save a deposit ranging from 2% to 20% of the eligible property’s value. The minimum deposit required for the FHG is 2%, but individual financial circumstances may lead Participating Lenders to request a higher percentage deposit.

If you are considering applying, it’s advisable to consult with a Participating Lender to determine if your deposit meets the genuine savings criteria outlined by the FHG and the lender. By taking advantage of this initiative, eligible home buyers can get closer to owning a home, whether it’s an existing property or building one.

-Property Price Caps Table

Property price caps refer to the maximum purchase prices set by the government for eligible properties under the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS). These caps vary based on the financial year and the location of the property (capital city, large regional centre, or regional area). All property price caps are denominated in Australian dollars.

The price caps for the FHBG and FHG are listed in the table below.

State Capital City and Regional Centre* Rest of State
NSW $900,000 $750,000
VIC $800,000 $650,000
QLD $700,000 $550,000
WA $600,000 $450,000
SA $600,000 $450,000
TAS $600,000 $450,000
Territory All areas
ACT $750,000
NT Regional $600,000
Jervis Bay Territory & Norfolk Island $550,000
Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands $400,000

*The regional centres covered under this program include Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast.*

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Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee

The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG) is a component of the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS), an initiative by the Australian Government aimed at assisting eligible home buyers in regional areas to purchase a home at an earlier stage. Housing Australia administers it on behalf of the Australian Government.

– Criteria

To be eligible for the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG), applicants must:

  • Apply as an individual or joint applicant.
  • Be Australian citizens or permanent residents at the time of entering the grant.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Earn up to $125,000 for individuals or $200,000 for joint applicants, as indicated on the Notice of Assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Intend to be owner-occupiers of the purchased property.
  • Not have previously owned or had an interest in a property in the country within the ten years prior to executing the home loan or grant.
  • Be first-home buyers or previous homeowners who haven’t owned a property here in the past ten years.

– Deposit Required

To expedite the process of buying a home, eligible home buyers applying for the RFHBG are required to save a deposit ranging from 5% to 20% of the property’s value. While the minimum deposit required is 5%, Participating Lenders may request a higher percentage deposit based on individual financial circumstances.

-Property Price Caps Table

The price caps for the RFHBG are listed in the table below.

State Regional Centre* All other Regional Areas
NSW $900,000 $750,000
VIC $800,000 $650,000
QLD $700,000 $550,000
WA $450,000
SA $450,000
TAS $450,000
Territory Regional area
ACT Not applicable
NT Regional $600,000
Jervis Bay Territory & Norfolk Island $550,000
Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands $400,000

The regional centres covered under this program include Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast.*

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First Home Super Saver Scheme by the Australian Government

The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS) scheme enables you to save money for your first home in your super fund. You can request the release of up to $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from a single financial year, with a maximum of $50,000 across all years, to be included in your eligible contributions under the FHSS scheme.

To be potentially eligible for the FHSS and expedite your path to homeownership, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You are at least 18 years old when applying for an FHSS determination or requesting a release of funds under the scheme (note: eligible contributions can be made before turning 18).
  • You are a first home buyer, meaning you have never owned any type of property in Australia unless you have experienced financial hardship (this includes investment properties, vacant land, commercial properties, leases of land, or company title interests).
  • You have the intention to occupy the purchased property as soon as possible and reside in it for a minimum of 6 months within the first 12 months after it becomes practical to move in.
  • You have not previously made a request for an FHSS release.

As per the Australian Taxation Office, this scheme will start on 20 September 2024. By meeting these requirements, you may be eligible to benefit from the FHSS scheme, bringing you closer to owning a home sooner.

Log on to ATO online services through myGovExternal Link to Apply.

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State or Territory-Wise First Home Owner Grant

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme, implemented on the 1st of July 2000, aims to counterbalance the impact of the GST on home ownership. It is a nationwide initiative funded by the states and territories and administered through respective legislation.

 Australian Capital Territory

The ACT Government has a concession scheme to help people buy a home or residential land by removing or reducing duty on any property they want to buy.

-Criteria:

To be qualified for the grant-

  • Buying or building a new home, substantially renovated home, or off-the-plan home with a commencement date between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2019.
  • Building a home as an owner-builder, with building starting on or after 1 January 2017 and on or before 30 June 2019.
  • The total value of the property (home plus land) must be $750,000 or less.
  • Complete the First Home Grant Application SmartForm with all necessary supporting documents within one year of completing the transaction.
  • All individuals with a relevant interest in the home must be applicants.
  • Every applicant must be at least 18 years old (with potential exemptions for good reasons by the Commissioner for ACT Revenue).
  • No applicants can be a company or trust (except for a trustee for a person with a legal disability).
  • At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • At least one applicant must move into the home within 12 months of settlement or completion of construction and live in it as the principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least one year.

New South Wales

As per the NSW Government $10,000 First Home Owner Grant is accessible for newly constructed or significantly renovated homes.

-Criteria

To be qualified for the grant-

  • Each applicant must be 18 years of age or older.
  • The first home buyer must be an individual, not a company or trust.
  • At least one applicant must be an Australian permanent resident or citizen.
  • Neither you nor your spouse/partner/co-purchaser should have previously owned a home before 1 July 2000.
  • For contracts signed before 1 July 2023, you must occupy your first home as your primary residence within 12 months of construction or purchase, with a minimum continuous occupancy period of 6 months.
  • For contracts signed on or after 1 July 2023, you must reside in your first home as your primary residence within 12 months of construction or purchase, with a minimum continuous occupancy period of 12 months.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Government’s HomeBuilder Grant:

  • Qualified owner-occupiers offered a $25,000 grant by the Australian Government to construct a new home or undertake significant renovations. Applications are no longer being accepted.

Queensland

According to the Queensland Government,

Grant amounts for buying or building a new home:

  • Contracts signed between 20 November 2023 and 30 June 2025 (both dates inclusive): $30,000
  • Contracts signed before 20 November 2023: $15,000

Grant amounts for owner-builders:

  • Foundations laid between 20 November 2023 and 30 June 2025 (both dates inclusive): $30,000
  • Foundations laid before 20 November 2023: $15,000

-Criteria:

To be qualified for the grant-

  • You must be an individual aged 18 years or older.
  • You should be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying with someone who is).
  • Neither you nor your spouse should have previously received a grant in any state or territory of Australia.
  • You or your spouse must not have owned (residential property) in Australia: (On or after 1 July 2000 that you lived in, and before 1 July 2000, regardless of whether you lived in it or not.)

South Australia

According to the Government of South Australia, First-home buyers may qualify for this grant of up to $15,000 if they meet the following criteria:

-Criteria:

To be qualified for the grant-

  • Purchasing a new home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a residence, which includes substantially renovated homes.
  • The market value of the property:
    • $650,000 or less for contracts entered into on or after 15 June 2023.
    • $575,000 or less for contracts entered into between 17 September 2010 and 14 June 2023.
  • At least one applicant is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. New Zealand citizens with Special Category Visas residing in Australia may also apply.
  • Each applicant is 18 years of age or older.
  • Neither you nor your spouse/domestic partner have held a relevant interest in an Australian residential property before the 1st of July 2000.
  • You or your spouse/domestic partner have not lived in an Australian residential property in which you had a relevant interest for 6 months or longer, on or after the 1st of July 2000.
  • You and your spouse/domestic partner have not previously received this grant in any state or territory of Australia. You may be qualified to reapply if a grant was received but later repaid (with any applicable penalty).
  • All applicants must reside in the home as the principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 6 months, starting within 12 months of the settlement date for purchase contracts or completion of construction for owner builders or building contracts.

Tasmania

According to the Tasmanian Government, this grant is available to qualified applicants who purchase or build a new home in Tasmania from 1 July 2016.

-Criteria

To be qualified for the grant, the applicant(s) must:

  • Be a natural person (not a company).
  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (if multiple applicants, at least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident).
  • Occupy the home as the primary residence for a continuous period of at least six months, starting within 12 months of completing an eligible transaction.

Applicants are not qualified if you (or the spouse*) have the following:

  • Owned a residential property in Australia before the 1st of July 2000.
  • Owned and occupied residential property in Australia for more than six months after the 1st of July 2000.
  • Previously received the first homeowner grant.

Victoria

As per the State Revenue Office Victoria, if you are purchasing or constructing a new home with a value of up to $750,000, you could qualify for a $10,000 Home Owner Grant.

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-Criteria

To qualify for the FHOG in Australia, you and your spouse/partner cannot have:

  • Previously received a First Home Owner Grant in Australia.
  • Owned a home or any other residential property in Australia, individually or jointly, before 1 July 2000.
  • Occupied a home that either of you owned or part-owned in Australia for at least six months, starting from 1 July 2000.
  • and more. Check your eligibility here.

Western Australia

According to the Government of Western Australia, this is a single payment of up to $10,000 for eligible individuals who are purchasing or constructing their first new home. Qualifying for the FHOG does not require income or assets tests.

-Criteria

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of application. If under 18, exemptions from the age requirement may be possible.
  • At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of application.
  • Applicants must possess a relevant interest (ownership) in the land where the home is located and must own the home in their own capacity. A relevant interest can include a right of occupancy.

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