First Home Owners Grant by State

Published: September 19, 2019

Trying to save enough money to put down a deposit for your first home can be difficult.

Fortunately, the first home owners grant is a government assistance program that makes it easy for first time home buyers to get their foot in the door.

Learn more about the financial assistance provided by the first home buyers grant, if you qualify, and how much you can get according to the state where your home is purchased.

Take note: ComparingExpert and consultants are not mortgage brokers. The information provided in this article is to help you make an informed decision. Please contact your home loan provider or financial institution for advice and guidance.

What is the first home owners grant?

The first home owners grant (FHOG) is a once-off payment that is used by eligible first-time home owners to help them build or buy a home they intend to live in. It was launched in 2000 to make homeownership more attainable after the introduction of the goods and services tax. The grant amount differs depending on which state you're buying the property.

Take note: This grant is not paid to you directly. Once you are awarded the settlement, the funds will be transferred to the loan provider or to your solicitor who will make sure that all money is directed as required. If you plan to use the grant to build your first home, your funds may only be available once construction begins so the funds can be used for the construction process.

Benefits of the grant for first time home buyers:

  • Lowers your overall repayment amount: When you receive your FHOG, the money will be sent directly to the lender or your solicitor, who will make sure it is paid into your home loan. This generally lowers your principle amount and might help you pay off your loan sooner.
  • Stamp duty discounts: Depending on the state and territory your property is in, you might get a discount or exemption on stamp duty fees.
  • Your income does not determine eligibility: Qualifying for a first home owners grant will not depend on your salary or other financial considerations. However, you will need to show proof that you can afford to repay the loan.
  • Simple application process: Applying for this grant is relatively easy. Generally, the financial institution that is providing your home loan will help you apply.
  • Increased grants in regional areas: If you build or buy your first home in a regional area in Australia, for example, Hume, Victoria, you may qualify for a more substantial grant.

Who is eligible for the FHOG?

Being a first-time homebuyer will not automatically give you access to the government grant. There are a variety of factors that influence your eligibility. To qualify for the grant, you generally need to be:

  • Building or buying your first home and not owned a home or other property before 1 July 2000,
  • Above the age of 18,
  • A permanent resident, an Australian citizen or have a spouse who fits this requirement,
  • Applying for the grant within the first 12 months after the settlement of your property purchase,
  • Purchasing the property as an individual, not as a company or part of a trust,
  • Proving that at least one of the applicants of the home loan intend to make the property their primary residence for at least 6 to 12 consecutive months, and
  • Able to prove that you have not previously received a grant in Australia.

Take note: The eligibility criteria might vary slightly depending on the state where you're purchasing a property.

How much does the grant payout?

The general FHOG amount is between $7,000 and $20,000 depending on the state and territory your home is situated. The pay-out amount will also be influenced by factors such as the value of your property, and whether you're building or buying a new home.

Generally, it is a good idea to purchase a home that meets the requirements of your state or territory's first home owners grant. Certain state governments will offer additional incentives like stamp-duty exemptions and discounts.

Compare first home owners grant by state

State & Value of the property Grant amount Discount and Exemptions Apply for FHOG
First home owners grant QLD
Value of the home and land must be less than $750 000.
$15,000 Stamp duty discounts for new homes established homes and new homes being built. Apply for the Queensland first home owners grant
First time home owners grant NSW
Value of the home and land must be less than $750,000.
$10,000 Stamp duty discounts for homes between $650,000 and $800,000 and complete or partial exemptions from transfer duties when purchasing a new home valued up to $550,000. Apply for a new home grant NSW
First home buyers grant Victoria
Value of the home and land must be less than $750 000.
$20,000. $10,000 if the property is not in regional Victoria. Land transfer duty discount for properties valued up to $600 000. Pensioners receive a concession on transfer duties for properties valued below $750 000. Receive a duty concession if the property you buy is valued below $550 000 and intended as a primary residence. Apply for the first home owners grant VIC
First home owners grant WA
Value of the home and land must be less than $750 000 if south of the 26th parallel and $1,000,000 if north of the 26th parallel.
$10,000 No stamp duty on properties valued up to $430,000 and discounted stamp duty for homes between $430,000 and $530,000. Applying for FHOG WA
First home owners grant SA
Value of the home and land must be less than $575 000.
$15,000 None Apply for South Australia first home buyers grant
First home buyers grant Tasmania
Currently, no limit is placed on the purchase price of the property.
$20,000 You might receive a stamp duty discount of 50% on established homes up to $400,000. Apply for FHOG from Tas
FHOG for Australian Capital Territory
Value of the home and land must be less than $750 000.
$7,000 Stamp duty exemption if your household income is less than $160 000. Application for first home owners grant ACT
First home owners grant NT
Currently, the value of your home does not affect the eligibility of your grant.
$10,000 Stamp duty concession valued at $18 601 if you qualify for the territory home owner discount. Apply for the first home buyers grant Northern Territory

Applying for the first home buyers grant

File the relevant application forms along with your supporting documents within the first 12 months after purchasing your new home. To apply, you usually need to provide some documents, including:

  • Proof of identity,
  • A copy of the contract that is signed and dated by the seller, and
  • Proof that the house you’re purchasing has never been sold or occupied before.
  • When building a new home, you generally also need to provide the building contracts or occupation certificate and other documents, such as council approvals.

Frequently asked questions and answers

How to claim your first home owners grant

Your grant can be claimed after the relevant government institution has approved it. Once approved, the grant will be transferred to your loan provider or solicitor.

When does the first home owners grant get paid?

When you can expect to receive your FHOG depends on the type of contract you have (purchasing or building a new home) and which financial institution you applied with (an approved agent or revenue agency). However, your Lender can generally expect the grant payment 5 days after the relevant documents have been provided and your application has been approved.

Can you use the first home owners grant as a deposit?

In most cases, you will be able to use the FHOG for your deposit if you are buying a new home. Although it is unlikely to provide you with the 20% deposit, you need to avoid Lender's Mortgage Insurance. However, a $7,000 to $20,000 contribution can help you significantly reduce your deposit and thus make it easier to buy your first home.

Take note: If you are applying for a grant to build your home, the money will usually only be available after the transaction is completed and will therefore not be available for use as a deposit.

What happens to my FHOG if I move house?

Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to reside in the home which was purchased with this grant for 6 to 12 months. If you move before this period, you may be subject to penalties or have to return the full grant amount.

Do all types of homes qualify for the grant?

Although the majority of states will provide a grant for both new and established homes, it is important to check your state’s eligibility requirements, for example, the value of the property. Certain states will only approve a grant if a brand-new residence, which has never been occupied, is purchased.

What is the first home builders grant?

The first home builders grant is financial compensation which is offered to individuals who are building their first home. This grant will generally be paid to the benefactor after the building project has commenced.

What are other grants available to first time home owners?

Certain states and territories will provide additional grants for first time home owners. For instance, the first home super saver scheme in Queensland allows residents to save for a deposit in their super fund, while the first owners bonus grant in South Australia might provide buyers with an additional $8 000.

Can NZ citizens get the first home buyers grant?

If you are a New Zealand citizen living in Australia on a subclass 444 visa, you may be able to apply for this grant. However, it is important to note that you will need to meet the other eligibility requirements before your application is approved.

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