First home owner grant: when am I eligible?

Written by view.com.au in First Home Buyer

first home owner grant

The most important thing to know about receiving a First Home Owner Grant anywhere in Australia is to stay informed. Grants are susceptible to the policies and governments of the day, which is why the details of a grant in any given state can change from year to year and from state to state.

Here is a rundown of what eligibility requirements apply to each state for a First Home Owner Grant.

Victoria

To apply for an FHOG, you need to be:

  • Over 18
  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia (or at least one party of the sale contract must satisfy this)
  • A new home owner (you cannot have purchased a home or been financially tied to the purchase of a new home prior to this application)
  • Have a signed contract for the purchase or construction of the new home
  • A property value capped at $750,000

Scenario: David is from England and is living with his Australian girlfriend, Sarah, in Melbourne. He wants to buy an investment property while renting with Sarah so he asks his mate, Peter, if he wants to join him as a financial partner in the investment. He is worried that because he does not have permanent residency, this will disqualify them from receiving the FHOG. Luckily, Peter is a citizen and because of this (at least one signatory to the contract of sale needs to be Australian or a permanent resident), they find out they can still receive the $10,000 grant. However, Sarah finds out that they can receive $20,000 if they invest in a regional property. Her parents live in Bendigo so they decide to invest in a property there and live in Bendigo for six months before then renting the property back out to tenants to make it an investment property. 

New South Wales 

  • Over 18
  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia (or at least one party of the sale contract must satisfy this)
  • A new home owner (you cannot have purchased a home or been financially tied to the purchase of a new home prior to this application)
  • Have a signed contract for the purchase or construction of the new home
  • A property value capped at $600,000 if you buy or $750,000 if you are an owner builder or enter a contract to build.
  • For eligible transactions made on or after 1 January 2016, the grant amount is $10,000.
  • For eligible transactions made between 1 October 2012 and 31 December 2015, the grant amount is $15,000.
  • Need to live in the property for at least 6 months after purchasing.

Queensland

  • Over 18
  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia (or at least one party of the sale contract must satisfy this)
  • A new home owner (you cannot have purchased a home or been financially tied to the purchase of a new home prior to this application)
  • $15,000 for contracts dated
    • October 2012 to 30 June 2016
    • 1 July 2018 or later
  • $20,000 for contracts dated from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018
  • Have a signed contract for the purchase or construction of the new home
  • Capped at $750,000 and must be a new property or an existing home that has undergone substantial renovations

Scenario: Kate wants to buy an off-the-plan apartment in Brisbane and has some inheritance from her grandparents which, along with her saving efforts, have got her into a position close to buying. She does her research and decides that she would rather buy now rather than wait another year when she thinks the market will be even stronger, so she asks her mother whether she would be interested in being a financial partner in the purchase of the home. They buy an apartment and are both signatories on the contract of sale and Kate moves into the apartment immediately after settlement. However, after purchasing the home, they realise that they are not eligible for the grant as Kate’s mother owned a property with her late husband from 1992 until 1996 and lived in the property at this time.

Australian Capital Territory 

  • Over 18
  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia (or at least one party of the sale contract must satisfy this)
  • A new home owner (you cannot have purchased a home or been financially tied to the purchase of a new home prior to this application)
  • You receive $7,000 
  • Note: FHOG in the territory set to be abolished after June 2019
  • Capped at $750,000 and must be a new property or an existing home that has undergone substantial renovations

South Australia 

  • Over 18
  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia (or at least one party of the sale contract must satisfy this)
  • A new home owner (you cannot have purchased a home or been financially tied to the purchase of a residential prior to this application) – this applies to all applicants
  • None of the applicants can have past financial ties to a property and lived in it for longer than 6 months
  • Eligible for $15,000
  • Capped at $575,000 and must be a new property or an existing home that has undergone substantial renovations
  • Must live in the home for at least 6 months within 12 months of purchase

Tasmania

  • Over 18
  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia (or at least one party of the sale contract must satisfy this)
  • A new home owner (you cannot have purchased a home or been financially tied to the purchase of a residential prior to this application) – this applies to all applicants
  • Eligible for $20,000
  • From 1 July 2019, this will be reduced to $10,000

Scenario: a young couple in Melbourne who have been living off a single income and saving the other income decide to invest in a property in Hobart before July 2019, as they have identified Hobart as a strong market for investors due to its low vacancy rates and affordable property prices. They purchase a new apartment near the centre of town and lease it out. Four weeks later they look to apply for a FHOG but find out that they need to live in the property for at least six months to receive the FHOG. Unfortunately, neither one can do this as they are both tied to their jobs in Melbourne and need those incomes to afford the mortgage and rent of their home in Melbourne. They end up sacrificing the potential $20,000 because they did not make sure they were eligible prior to purchasing the property.

Western Australia 

  • Over 18
  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia (or at least one party of the sale contract must satisfy this)
  • A new home owner (you cannot have purchased a home or been financially tied to the purchase of a residential prior to this application) – this applies to all applicants
  • Caps are geographically generated, rather than a single cap. For all Perth metropolitan properties, this equates to a cap of $750,000
  • Transactions entered into between 1 January and 30 June 2017 may be eligible to receive $5,000 boost plus the $10,000 grant
  • For transactions entered into between 25 September 2013 and 31 December 2016, the grant is $10,000 or the ‘consideration’ paid to buy or build the house if less than the grant amount

Northern Territory

  • The NT has a First Home Owner Discount for those who want to buy an established home
  • There is the potential to receive up to $26,000 for the FHOG in the NT
  • Otherwise, the NT shares the same regulations as most other states (at least one applicant must be over 18, all applicants need to be natural persons, at least one a PR or citizen etc.)
  • One major difference is that there is no cap on the price of the new home