Government Schemes and Grants for First-Home Buyers

Here’s a list of all the major national and state announced grants and schemes for first-home buyers in 2023.
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Did you know first home buyer in NSW can save up to $33,000 in stamp duty? Although there are numerous government grants and schemes available for first-home buyers, both at the national and state level, many first-home buyers simply don’t know about them.

 

Here is a summary of the schemes available for first-home buyers in 2022 or the beginning of 2023.

 

Details
Help To Buy
Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme
First Home Guarantee
Family Home Guarantee
What is it?
It is a shared equity scheme where the government contributes 40% for new builds and 30% for existing properties.
It is a guarantor scheme where the government guarantees loans so borrowers avoid LMI.
It is a guarantor scheme where the government guarantees loans so borrowers avoid LMI.
It is a guarantor scheme where the government guarantees loans so borrowers avoid LMI.
Who’s it for?
Low- to middle-income earners who currently don’t own property
Only first home buyers who already live in regional areas
Only for first home buyers
Single parents with at least one child dependant
How many places are available?
10,000 each year
10,000 each year
35,000 each year
5,000 each year
What is the minimum deposit required?
2%
5%
5%
2%
What is the income cap?
$90,000 for singles and $120,000 for couples
$125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples
$125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples
$125,000
When is it available?
1 July 2023
1 January 2023
Available now. Extra places are available from 1 July 2022
Available now

 

Help To Buy Scheme

The Help to Buy Scheme is a shared equity scheme wherein the government helps first-home buyers purchase a home by contributing up to 40% of the property price for a new home and up to 30% for an existing one.

The scheme is designed to help with the longstanding affordability crisis. There will be 10,000 places available for eligible Australians each year. The government has not confirmed a date for when the scheme will commence.

 

First Home Guarantee

This scheme allows eligible first-home buyers to purchase a new or existing home with a deposit of just 5%, without paying tens of thousands of dollars in Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

The scheme will now have 35,000 places each financial year, beginning from 1 July 2022.

Tip: For your best chance to secure a place in the scheme, have your tax returns done as soon as possible. To apply, you’ll need your latest Notice of Assessment from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

 

Family Home Guarantee

This is an initiative to help eligible single parents with dependants purchase a family home sooner.
Under the scheme, single parents can buy a home with just a 2% deposit without paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

The Family Home Guarantee is available through financial year 2025.

This scheme originally offered 10,000 total places spread across four years. The government has now added 5000 new places each year, from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025.

 

Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme

The Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme will potentially help 10,000 Australians a year who are living in regional areas buy their first home with at least a 5% deposit.

First-home buyers can buy a home with a deposit as low as 5% of the property value and the government will guarantee the other 15%, allowing borrowers to avoid paying LMI.

The scheme started in January 2023.

 

First Home Super Saver Scheme

The First Home Super Saver Scheme allows first-home buyers to save a deposit for their first home inside their super account, to take advantage of the concessional tax treatment.

Under the scheme, the government has increased the total amount of savings borrowers can release from super to make a deposit on a home from $30,000 to $50,000.

Tip: You’ll need a determination letter from the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) specifying the amount that can be released from your super to use as a deposit for a home loan.

 

Find Out Which Schemes Are Available To You

We can show you the government schemes for which you’re eligible and help you apply. Please speak with one of our specialist mortgage brokers by giving us a call today. Find out the best path to your new home today!

 

State-specific government grants and schemes for first home buyers

Each state has its own policy on the:

  • First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)
  • Stamp duty waivers/concessions
  • Additional state grants and programs.

 

Please note that the FHOG is available only to first-home buyers either purchasing or building a new home.

 

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The Australian Capital Territory replaced the First Home Owners Grant with the Home Buyers Concession Scheme.

Under the Home Buyers Concession Scheme, home buyers in the ACT will not pay stamp duty on a home purchase, subject to the following eligibility criteria:

  • All buyers must be 18 years of age or above.
  • The total gross income (before tax), including the partners (if any) must not be greater than the income threshold*.
  • All buyers including their partners (if any) must not have owned any other property in the last two years.
  • At least one buyer must live in the home continuously for at least one year, starting within 12 months of settlement or completion of construction.

Unlike the previous concession scheme, you can now purchase vacant residential land, and both new and established properties, anywhere in the ACT and at any price.

*Income threshold for applicants without dependants should not exceed $160,000; for each dependant, the income threshold increases by $3,330 with the max set at $176,650.

For more information, please visit ACT Revenue Office’s website.

 

New South Wales (NSW)

First home buyers in NSW may be eligible for a:

  • $10,000 First Home Owners Grant for a new home that no-one has lived in before.
  • Full transfer (stamp) duty concession for both new and established properties valued up to $650,000, and partial concession for homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.
  • No stamp duty for vacant land valued at less than $350,000. And for land valued between $350,000 and $450,000, you’ll receive a concessional rate.

From 1 August 2020, the NSW government increased the threshold for stamp duty exemption for first home buyers from $650,000 to $800,000 for newly built homes and from $350,000 to $400,000 for vacant land.

For more information, please visit NSW Revenue Office’s website.

 

Northern Territory (NT)

Northern Territory (NT) has perhaps the most attractive government schemes and grants for both first home buyers and property owners in general.

This vast federal territory’s housing programs include:

  • A $10,000 First Home Owners Grant to buy or build a new home in the Northern Territory.
  • A First Home Owner Discount of up to $23,928.60 off stamp duty on an established home up to the value of $650,000.
  • A $10,000 Home Renovation Grant for renovations.
  • A $2,000 Household Goods Grant Scheme.

There is also the Home Buyer Initiative and the HomeBuild Access programs, please refer to NT.gov.au for more details.

 

Queensland (QLD)

Queensland has the following grants and schemes for first-home buyers:

  • A $15,000 FHOG towards buying or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000).
  • A $5,000 Regional Home Building Boost Grant in QLD given after the purchase or construction of a brand-new house, unit or townhouse valued at less than $750,000.
  • A First Home Concession wherein first-home buyers pay no stamp duty for both new and existing property purchases under $550,000, a discount (concession) may still apply for a home valued over $550,000.
  • A First Home Vacant Land Concession for transfer duty when acquiring vacant land to build your first home, if you meet certain requirements. It only applies to vacant land valued under $400,000.

For more information, please visit QLD.gov.au.

 

South Australia (SA)

South Australia has a $15 000 one-off FHOG for purchase or construction of a new home.

Unlike other states and territories, SA has no stamp duty exemption or concessions for first home buyers.

You can use our stamp duty calculator to work the duty payable on a SA property purchase.

For more information, please visit Revenue SA’s website.

 

Tasmania (TAS)

First-home buyers in Tasmania may be eligible for:

  • A $20,000 grant for first home buyers who are building or purchasing a new residence or a newly built residence.
  • A 50 per cent stamp duty discount on the purchase of an established home with a value of $400 000 or less.

For more information, please visit State Revenue Office of Tasmania’s website.

 

Victoria

First home buyers in Victoria may be eligible for:

  • A $10,000 FHOG available for first-home buyers. The home must be valued at $750,000 or less, the sale must be the first of the property as residential premises and the home must be less than five years old. The $20,000 regional First Home Owner Grant ended on 30 June 2021.
  • Stamp (transfer) duty exemption to purchase a new or established property in Victoria up to $600,000. A duty concession (discount) applies for properties valued between $600,000 and $750,000.

For more information, please visit State Revenue Office of Victoria’s website.

 

Western Australia (WA)

First-home buyers in Western Australia (WA) may be eligible for:

  • A $10,000 FHOG to buy or build a newly built residential property for use as their principal place of residence.
  • Stamp duty waiver on a purchase of any home valued up to $430,000 for first home buyers. Discounted or concessional rates apply for homes valued between $430,001 and $530,000 for your principal place of residence.

For more information, please visit WA.gov.au.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I apply for multiple government grants and schemes?

Yes, you can if you’re eligible.

For example, an eligible first-home buyer can technically apply for and qualify for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and the First Home Guarantee, while paying no stamp duty.

Since each government grant/scheme has its own eligibility criteria and timelines, qualifying for them all is challenging, so, please speak with one of our specialist mortgage brokers to determine how best to proceed.

 

How do I apply for these first-home buyer government grants/schemes?

First off, you want to make sure that you’re eligible for the government scheme/grant for which you’re applying. Each program has slightly different eligibility requirements so you want to check off all the boxes prior to submitting your application.

Generally, you can apply for these government schemes and grants at the same time you apply for a home loan.
However, if you’re planning on using any of the aforementioned grants or schemes, please have a discussion with your bank or mortgage broker prior to submitting your application.

Most lenders will apply for the grant on your behalf once a formal home loan approval is granted, and you have signed any relevant applications/declaration.

For the stamp duty waiver, your solicitor will handle the paperwork for you on settlement day.
There can be different eligibility requirements so it’s best to consult with your mortgage broker or directly with your lender up front.

 

Are there any disadvantages to government grants?

Government grants and schemes do have an effect on the market. The main objective of these grants is to help you own a home. However, when grants are introduced, the demand for a certain range of houses shoots up, and as a result, prices rise as well.

Having said this, getting a grant or qualifying for a scheme can aid you significantly on your purchase. On top of that, if you can qualify for a grant/scheme early, before the market has had a chance to move, the rising prices will increase your equity in your home.

Karlie Scharfenberg
Karlie Scharfenberg

Director & Senior Finance Broker

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