A Complete Guide to First Home Buyer’s Grants in Australia

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Many first home buyers in Australia are eligible for financial assistance from the government through first home owner schemes, with each state and territory having their own schemes in order to boost the construction of new homes and help first home buyers get onto the property ladder.

Certain eligibility requirements for these grants remain the same across the country, including that you must be at least 18 years of age and an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and you must be a natural person (not a company or trust). There are several other eligibility requirements which vary from state to state.

Here’s a breakdown of the first home buyers grants available by state and territory, and the eligibility criteria for each (which refers to each applicant and/or their spouse/partner).

New South Wales

The NSW First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme is currently worth $15,000 and will be reduced to $10,000 starting from 01 January 2016.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It must be the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant, unless a previous payment has been later repaid together with any penalty
  • You mustn’t have owned a home (including an investment property) in Australia before 01 July 2000
  • If you owned a property after 01 July 2000, used it only for investing, and didn’t live in it for six continuous months, you may still be eligible. You’ll have to provide details of your tax return, tenancy/lease agreements, and current electricity/phone accounts
  • You must have entered into a contract on or after 01 July 2014. If you’re an owner builder, you should have started construction on or after this date
  • The property should be your Principal Place of Residence (PPR), in which you’ll need to live for at least six months continuously within a year of completion. If you’re in the Australian Defence Force and on the NSW electoral roll, the amount of time you’re required to live in the home may be reduced.

Applicable properties:

  • For newly built/bought or substantially renovated homes of up to $750,000
  • A home or substantially renovated home that hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence
  • A home built to replace demolished premises.

How to apply:

  • Apply through the NSW Office of State Revenue or through your bank or lending institution by submitting the relevant application form and documents. For more information, visit the Office of State Revenue site here.

Australian Capital Territory

First home buyers in the ACT can receive the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) valued at $12,500.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It must be the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant, unless a previous payment received after 01 January 2011 has been paid back
  • You mustn’t have owned a home in Australia before 01 July 2000 or lived in one between this date and 01 July 2004 or for at least six continuous months after 01 July 2004
  • The contract date must be on or after 01 September 2013. If you’re an owner builder, you should have started construction on or after this date
  • The property must be your PPR and once it’s completed you’ll need to live in it for 12 months continuously.

Applicable properties:

  • For new, substantially renovated or off-the-plan homes of up to $750,000
  • A home or substantially renovated home that hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence
  • A home that’s subject to an off-the-plan purchase agreement.

How to apply:

  • Apply through the ACT Revenue Office or through your bank or lending institution by submitting the application form and other essential documents. For more information, visit the ACT Revenue site here.

Queensland

Queensland first home buyers are eligible for the $15,000 Great Start Grant.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It must be the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant, unless a previous payment has been later repaid together with any penalty
  • You mustn’t have owned a home (including an investment property) in Australia before 01 July 2000
  • If you owned a property after 01 July 2000, used it only for investing and didn’t live in it, you may be eligible. You’ll have to provide details of your tax return, tenancy/lease agreements, and current electricity/phone accounts
  • The contract date must be on or after 12 September 2012. If you’re an owner builder, you need to have started construction on or after this date
  • The property should be your PPR and you’ll need to occupy it for a continuous period of at least six months within a year of completion.

Applicable properties:

  • For new, substantially renovated or off-the-plan homes less than $750,000
  • A home or substantially renovated home that hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence
  • A home that’s subject to an off-the-plan purchase agreement.

How to apply:

  • Apply through the Queensland Office of State Revenue or through your bank or lending institution by submitting the application form plus other documentation. For more information, visit the Great Start Grant website.

Victoria

Victoria’s First Home Owner Grant worth $10,000 is available for first home buyers.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It must be the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant
  • You mustn’t have owned a home (including an investment property) in Australia before 01 July 2000, and neither should you have owned and lived in one for a minimum of six months after this date
  • You should have entered into a contract to buy or build a new home on or after 01 July 2013. If you’re an owner builder, you must have started construction on or after this date
  • The property must be your PPR and you should live in it for 12 months on a continuous basis within a year of settlement.

Applicable properties:

  • For newly built or bought homes of no more than $750,000, unless they’re built on primary production land.

How to apply:

  • Apply through the Victorian Office of State Revenue or through your bank or lending institution by submitting the relevant documentation along with theapplication form. For more information, visit the State Revenue Office website.

South Australia

The SA First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is valued at $15,000, and is also available for eligible first home buyers.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It must be the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant, unless a previous payment has been later paid back together with any penalty
  • You mustn’t have owned a home (including an investment property) in Australia before 01 July 2000
  • If you owned a property after 01 July 2000, used it only for investing and didn’t live in it for six continuous months, you may be eligible. You’ll have to provide details of your tax return, tenancy/lease agreements, and current electricity/phone accounts
  • The contract date must be on or after 17 September 2010. If you’re an owner builder, you should have started construction on or after this date
  • The property should be your PPR for a minimum of six continuous months upon its completion.

Applicable properties:

  • For newly built/bought or substantially renovated homes that cost $575,000 or less
  • A home or substantially renovated home that hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence.

How to apply:

  • Apply through the SA Office of State Revenue or through your bank or lending institution by submitting the relevant application form and documents. For more information, see the South Australian Revenue Office website.

Western Australia

First home buyers in WA can either receive the $10,000 or $3,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), depending on whether they’re buying a new or established property.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It must be the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant
  • You mustn’t have owned a home (including an investment property) in Australia before 01 July 2000
  • You mustn’t have owned a home in Australia after 01 July 2000 and lived in it before 01 July 2004 or for a minimum of six months continuously after this date
  • You must have entered into a contract on or after 25 September 2013. If you’re an owner builder, you should have started construction on or after this date
  • The property must be your PPR, in which you’ll need to live for at least six continuous months within a year of completion.

Applicable properties:

  • $10,000 grant for newly built or bought homes
  • $3,000 grant for established properties
  • The home must be $750,000 or less if it’s located south of the 26th parallel of South Latitude, and if it’s located in the north, it should be $1 million or less.

How to apply:

Northern Territory

Northern Territory first home buyers are eligible for a First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) of $26,000.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It must be the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant, unless a previous payment has been later repaid together with any penalty
  • You mustn’t have owned a home in Australia before 01 July 2000 or owned and lived in one after 01 July 2000
  • The contract date must be on or after 01 January 2015. If you’re an owner builder, you need to have started construction on or after this date
  • The property should be your PPR and you’ll have to live in it for a minimum of six months continuously within a year of completion.

Applicable properties:

  • For newly built or bought homes of any value
  • A home that hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence, or one that has been previously sold but never occupied.

How to apply:

  • Apply through the Northern Territory Revenue Office or through your bank or lending institution by submitting the application form plus other documentation. For more information, see here.

Tasmania

First home buyers in Tasmania can receive the $20,000 First Home Builder Boost (FHBB), which is an increased First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) payment. It will be reduced to $10,000 starting from 01 July 2015. However, the good news is that the current base FHOG payment of $7,000 will be increased to $10,000 from 01 July 2015 onwards.

Eligibility criteria:

  • It’s the first time you’ll receive a first home buyer’s grant, unless a previous payment has been later paid back together with any penalty
  • You mustn’t have owned and lived in a home in Australia for over six months after 01 July 2000, and neither should you have owned a home before this date
  • You should have entered into a contract to buy or build a new home between 01 January 2015 and 30 June 2015. If you’re an owner builder, you must have started construction between these dates
  • The property must be your PPR and you’ll need to occupy it for a continuous period of at least six months within a year of the issue date of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Applicable properties:

  • For newly built/bought or off-the-plan homes of any value
  • A home that hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence
  • A home that’s subject to an off-the-plan purchase agreement.

How to apply:

  • Apply through the Tasmanian Office of State Revenue or through your bank or lending institution by submitting the relevant documentation along with the application form. For more info, see here.