Are New Zealand citizens eligible for Australia's First Home Owners Grant?

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.

What is the First Home Owners Grant?

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 home owners that satisfy all the eligibility criteria.

State by State grants, amounts and dates

ACT

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.

Find out if your eligible

New South Wales

From 1 July 2017, to improve affordability for first home buyers the NSW government announced several reforms:

  • A $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for builders of new homes up to $750,000, and for purchases of new homes up to $600,000
  • No stamp duty for all homes up to $650,000
  • Stamp duty reductions on homes up to $800,000
  • No insurance duty on lender’s mortgage insurance

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.

First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme

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.

Check if you are eligible

First Home Buyers Assistance scheme

The First Home Buyers Assistance scheme is a NSW Government initiative which 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:

Details entered:  
Execution date 28/03/2018
Land usage Home
Purchase price or value $600,000.00
Is this a shared equity arrangement calculation?          
No
Result:  
Purchase duty amount $0.00
Purchase duty savings $22,490.00


More info on the NSW FHBAS

Northern Territory

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:

  • A First Home Owner Grant of $26,000 for first time buyers buying or building a new home or an established home (from 24 May 2016). No purchase price limit applies to new homes bought after 1 January 2015.
  • A First Home Owner Discount on stamp duty of up to $23 928.60, for first home buyers purchasing an established home valued up to $650,000.
  • A Home Renovation Grant of up to $10,000 for eligible recipients of the above First Home Owner Discount.
  • A Household Goods Grant of up to $2,000 for purchase of household goods, granted to eligible recipients of the First Home Owner Grant.

Find out more about the Northern Territory FHOG

Queensland

The Queensland FHOG is a state government initiative to help first home owners 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 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 of this period, the Grant amount reverts back to the original $15,000.

Test your eligiblity for the Queensland FHOG

South Australia

South Australia FHOG is a $15,000 one-off grant payable to eligible first home owners 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.

Find out more about the South Australia FHOG

Tasmania

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.

Find out if you are eligible

Victoria

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:

  • New homes and established homes are eligible for a first home buyer duty reduction if the home is valued at $600,000 or less of up to 50%.
  • Both new and established homes valued up to $550,000 are eligible for a principal place of residence (PPR) concession if you intend to live there.
  • First home buyers with a family (at least one dependent child) may be eligible for a duty concession on a property valued up to $200,000.
  • Farmers buying their first farmland property are eligible for the young farmer’s exemption or concession.
  • Refurbished lots and off-the-plan properties are eligible for an off-the-plan duty concession.

Find out more about

Western Australia

The FHOG is a one-off payment to encourage and assist first home buyers to buy or build a 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, homes located north of the 26th parallel can be valued 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.

Find out more

First Home Owners Grant tend to change without notice

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.

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