The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) in Australia is designed to encourage and assist home ownership across the country, and for eligible borrowers, it’s a great start to life as a property owner.
The grant differs in each state and territory and in most places it applies to new homes only.
The Australian government’s First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and other benefits are available to permanent residents as if they are citizens of Australia. Because NZ citizens are considered to be permanent residents of Australia they are eligible for the grant.
FHOG does not take into account NZ property for eligibility, only property you’ve owned in Australia.
In this post you will find helpful information on:
The Australian Government have a First Home Owners Grant (FHOG). The FHOG scheme was introduced on 1 July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership. It is a national scheme funded by the states and territories and administered under their own legislation. Under the scheme, a one-off grant is payable to first homeowners that satisfy all the eligibility criteria.
Make sure you read the bottom of this post and transfer your money to Australia wisely, keeping more of your hard-earned cash.
If you are buying or building a new home, you may be eligible for the FHOG ($10,000) if you signed your contract on or after 1 July 2013.
Your new home must be valued at $750,000 or less and be a new home. The property must not have been previously sold as a place of residence, occupied as a home, or leased out or used for short-term accommodation, such as Airbnb.
Please note, that the home price and FHOG amount vary from state to state. Check your state below.
You’re not eligible for the FHOG if you or your spouse or partner have already:
These criteria apply even if your spouse or partner is not an applicant with you for the FHOG.
You may still be eligible for the FHOG if you or your spouse/partner purchased property on or after 1 July 2000 and have not lived there as your home. For example, Tom bought his first property in July 2004. It was a house and Tom has always rented it out. As he has never lived there himself, this house is not considered to be his first residential home and he may be eligible for the FHOG.
Anyone holding a permanent visa under s30(1) of the Migration Act 1958 is considered a permanent resident of Australia. New Zealanders holding a special category visa under s32 of the Migration Act 1958 are also eligible for the FHOG but must be physically in Australia at the time of settlement.
The ACT Government introduced the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) on 1 July 2000. As of 1 January 2017, homes in our national capital are offered a $7,000 First Home Owner Grant. This applies to first-home buyers of new, substantially renovated, or off-the-plan properties valued up to $750,000. You must live in the property for the first year of owning it.
ACT first home buyers may also be eligible to defer payment of duty if they are also eligible for the First Home Owner Grant.
The FHOG is no longer available for purchasing established homes. As of 1 January 2017, the FHOG is $7,000.
From 1 July 2017, to improve affordability for first-home buyers the NSW government announced several reforms:
You must live in the home you buy for at least 6 months in the first year of owning the property in order to receive the grant.
You may also be eligible for an exemption from transfer duty if you buy a new home valued up to $550,000, or vacant land up to $350,000. You can get a concession on the transfer duty for new homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000, or vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.
From 1 July 2017, the First Home Owner Grant Cap for new home purchases is $600,000; for a property where you enter into a contract to build, or are an owner builder the total value cannot exceed $750,000.
For eligible transactions made on or after 1 January 2016, the grant amount is $10,000.
The First Home Buyers Assistance scheme is an NSW Government initiative that provides exemptions or concessions on transfer duty for eligible NSW first home buyers. This includes vacant land on which you intend to build your first home.
The First Home Buyers Assistance scheme provides eligible purchasers with exemptions on transfer duty on new and existing homes valued up to $650,000 and concessions on duty for new and existing homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.
Eligible purchasers buying a vacant block of residential land to build their home on will pay no duty on vacant land valued up to $350,000 and will receive concessions on duty for vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.
Here’s an example we completed:
Purchase price or value
Is this a shared equity arrangement calculation?
|Purchase duty amount|
Purchase duty savings
If you want to buy or build a new home, you can apply for a First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) of up to $26,000. A new home is one that has never been previously lived in or sold as a place of residence.
The Northern Territory offers several generous incentives to first-home buyers:
The Queensland FHOG is a state government initiative to help first homeowners to get their new first home sooner. Depending on the date of your contract, you’ll get $15,000 or $20,000 towards buying or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000). You can even buy off the plan or choose to build it yourself. It’s a great opportunity to buy or build a new home in our great state.
This grant offers $20,000 for eligible first-home buyers who are buying or building a new home up to the value of $750,000 – including off-the-plan homes. This amount applies to all building or purchasing contracts signed between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2017; for contracts signed during this period, the Grant amount reverts back to the original $15,000.
South Australia FHOG is a $15,000 one-off grant payable to eligible first homeowners on the purchase or construction of a new home, to the value of $575,000. You must live in the property for at least 6 months in the first year of owning it to be eligible for the grant.
If you are buying an off-the-plan apartment that meets the required criteria, you may also be eligible for an Off-the-plan Concession on stamp duty that is capped at $21,330.
South Australia also has grants of up to $7,000 for established homes, depending on the area and buyer.
From 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2018, the First Home Owner Grant is $20,000 for buying a new home, “spec” home, off-the-plan home, or owner/builder home. After 30 June 2018, the grant will revert to being just a $10,000 payment.
From 1 July 2013, a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is available when you buy or build your first new home. Your home can be a house, townhouse, apartment, unit or similar, but it must be valued at $750,000 or less and be the first sale of the property as residential premises. It cannot be an investment property or a holiday house.
For new homes built in regional Victoria and valued up to $750,000, with contracts signed from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020, the FHOG is $20,000.
In addition, first-home buyers may be eligible for various concessions on their stamp duty:
The FHOG is a one-off payment to encourage and assist first-home buyers to buy or build residential property for use as their principal place of residence.
Eligible first-home buyers can receive a First Home Owner Grant of up to $10,000 for buying or building a new home. Homes south of the 26th parallel (i.e. all of the Perth metropolitan area) can have a purchase price of up to $750,000, and homes located north of the 26th parallel can be valued at up to $1 million.
On 27 December 2016, A $5,000 boost payment became available to eligible first-home buyers who entered into a contract between 1 January and 30 June 2017 to purchase or construct a new home, and owner builders who commenced laying foundations of their home between those dates.
Eligible first-home buyers can also apply for the Home Buyers Assistance Account, which is a grant of up to $2,000 to cover the incidental expenses of purchasing an established or partially built home through a licensed real estate agent. It is available for properties with a purchase price of up to $400,000.
Grants and concessions on stamp duty have a tendency to change, usually without much notice. Make sure you keep up to date with what’s available in your state and double-check eligibility requirements right before you buy.
Make sure you keep more of your hard-earned cash when you transfer your money to Australia to buy your new home. Use an online money transfer company instead of your bank and save $1,000’s.
To give you an idea of how much you could save, XE has done a recent comparison with three New Zealand major banks for a $1,200,000 NZD / AUD transfer. Depending on which bank you use, XE would have saved you between $9,070 and $25,870.
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