First Home Owner Grants in the spotlight

First Home Owner Grants in the spotlight

Looking to buy your first home? You may be able to get help from a First Home Owner Grant. We look at what’s available.

First Home Owner Grants (FHOGs) were introduced in 2000 in a bid to help people buy their first home. If you are eligible, a FHOG could help you get your foot on the property ladder sooner, in addition to what you’ve saved for your deposit.

While the grants were introduced by the federal government, they are funded and run by the states and territories. Each has its rules regarding the grants, so you’ll need to check with your local state or territory government, or your home loan lender, to find out whether you qualify, how much the grant is worth and how it is paid.

Almost all the schemes offer grants and concessions for people building a new home or buying a newly built (or substantially renovated) home. Established homes don’t qualify. Here’s a summary of what’s on offer around the country:

  • ACT: A FHOG of $12,500 is available for eligible new homes.
  • NSW: A $15,000 FHOG (dropping to $10,000 on January 1, 2016) is available for eligible new homes. Stamp duty concessions are also available.
  • Northern Territory: A $26,000 FHOG is available for eligible new homes.
  • Queensland: A $15,000 FHOG is available for eligible new homes.
  • South Australia: A $15,000 FHOG is available for eligible new homes. In addition, a stamp duty concession is available in some areas for eligible people buying an apartment off the plan.
  • Tasmania: A $20,000 FHOG for eligible new homes runs until December 31, 2015.
  • Victoria: A $10,000 FHOG is available for eligible new homes. You may also be eligible for a duty reduction of up to 50% if your property meets the right criteria.
  • Western Australia: A $10,000 FHOG is available for eligible new homes. A $3000 FHOG for eligible established homes is due to be abolished this year when the legislation from the 2015-16 budget is finalised. First home buyers might also be eligible for a grant of up to $2000 for incidental expenses.

Keep in mind that there are requirements for how long you need to live at the residential address of the home you are buying, and these differ between each state and territory. In most cases you need to live in the property for a minimum of 6 months, but some states now require residency for at least 12 months.

Create a budget

Having goals and being disciplined can help get you into your first home sooner.

When you’re saving for a deposit it’s important to get on top of your finances and create a budget. You can use our budget planner to help you with yours.

Make sure you factor in the additional costs associated with buying a new property like pest and building inspections, legal fees and government costs.

Learn the basics

If you’re planning to buy your first home and aren’t sure how the process works, have a look at our first home buyer’s jargon-busting guide and read our guide to buying your first home.

Speak to one of our Home Lending Specialists about buying your first home.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. You should consider seeking independent financial advice before making any decision based on this information.