In the ACT, the First Home Owners Grant was replaced by the Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS) on 1 July 2019.²
Rather than contribute to a first homebuyer’s funds on hand, the HBCS reduces or eliminates the amount of stamp duty (also known as transfer duty) that the buyer would have to pay on their property purchase.¹⁰
To be eligible for the ACT’s HBCS, a buyer must:
The income caps for each threshold are displayed in the table below.
|Number of dependent children||Total gross income threshold|
The maximum stamp duty concession a buyer can receive is capped at $34,790, meaning any payable duty in excess of this amount must be paid in full by the buyer.
In NSW, eligible buyers may receive $10,000 via the First Home Owner’s Grant (New Homes) if currently under contract for a new home, or if building a new home on vacant land.³
To be eligible for the NSW FHOG, the following eligibility criteria must be met:¹¹
In the NT, you stand to receive a FHOG of $10,000 if you’re buying or building a new home.⁴
To be eligible for the FHOG, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:
In QLD, the FHOG gets you $15,000 if you’re buying a new home; meaning either a home that’s being built for you to live in or an established home that’s been ‘significantly renovated’.¹² The Queensland Government considers a property to be a ‘substantially renovated home’ if the renovations involved the removal or replacement of most of the building’s structural or non-structural components.
To be eligible for QLD’s FHOG, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
If you’re buying or building a new home in SA, you could be eligible for a grant of up to $15,000.
To be eligible for the FHOG in SA, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:⁶
In TAS, you can receive up to $30,000 for new and ‘off the plan’ homes (homes that haven’t been built or are under construction) until 30 June 2023.⁷
To be eligible for the FHOG, the following application requirements must be met:
There are also building and transaction requirements you may wish to look into before applying.
If you’re buying or building your first home in VIC, you could be eligible to receive $10,000 from the state government.
To be eligible for the FHOG, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:⁸
In WA, you could receive $10,000 if you’ve bought or built a new home. This grant applies if your home is worth $750,000 or less (for properties located below the 26th parallel of south latitude), or $1 million or less above the 26th parallel.
The 26th parallel runs across the width of Australia, marking the border between the Northern Territory and South Australia. In Western Australia, it’s marked by Shark Bay, so use that to determine whether you sit north or south of the 26th parallel.
For you to be eligible for the FHOG, the following eligibility requirements must be satisfied:⁹
Depending on when it’s paid, the FHOG can be used either as part of one’s deposit when buying or building a new home, or paid after the fact and put towards paying down the balance of your home loan principal.
However, some state/territory governments warn against counting on being able to use the grant as part of your deposit; for example, the Queensland Government explicitly warns against depending on the grant for a deposit.⁵
The FHOG cannot be used to buy or build an investment property; regardless of which state or territory you live in, the grant is strictly for owner-occupiers only.
The FHOG is generally paid per home, and only one person on the application can receive the grant. This prevents couples from double claiming the grant for the purpose of buying the same home.
Once you’ve received the FHOG, you typically will not be able to receive it again or be a co-applicant on the application of someone who has not received it before. Generally speaking, most states and territories will not approve an individual’s application to receive the FHOG if one of their co-applicants has received the grant before.
When exactly the FHOG is paid to successful applicants may vary by state and territory, but is generally paid at settlement.¹³
If you’ve chosen to build your new home, the grant will typically be paid to the builder as part of the first progress payment. If you’re an owner-builder (i.e. building the home yourself), the grant will be paid on receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy and any other supporting documents the government requires.
You can apply for the FHOG in your state through an ‘approved agent’. This will typically mean either:
This application will typically need to be lodged within a year of settlement.
The First Home Owner Grant isn’t the only government scheme designed for and available to first home buyers. There are several others that can be used instead of or in conjunction with the FHOG:
Each state and territory has different stamp duty concessions and eligibility requirements for said concessions, so check with your relevant housing authority or revenue office for more details.