Most states and territories in Australia offer concessions and incentives for first home buyers. There has been a change in the type of properties for which grants are available. Grants used to be available for both existing and new homes; however, now most states and territories are ceasing to offer grants for existing homes. Grants and incentives for first home buyers purchasing new or substantially renovated homes are now the trend as a move to help the construction industry.
While New South Wales was one of the first states to offer incentives for the purchase of new homes, most states and territories have, or are in the process, of following NSW’s lead.
As of 1 October 2012 the First Home Owner Grant of $7,000.00 was replaced by the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme of $15,000.00. This new scheme provides a grant of $15,000.00 for first home owners who purchase or build a new home. There is no grant for purchases of existing homes.
The $15,000 First Home Owner (New Homes) Scheme is available to eligible first home owners regardless of their income or where they intend to purchase or build. There is however a cap, based on the value of the home. For transactions from 1 October 2012 the cap amount is $650,000.00
The amount of the First Home Owner (New Homes) Scheme will reduce from $15,000.00 to $10,000.00 on 1 January 2016.
First home buyers in NSW are also able to claim exemptions or concessions on stamp duty under the First Home-New Home scheme. Under this scheme first home buyers are able to claim full stamp duty exemptions on new homes valued up to $550,000.00. For homes valued between $550,000.00 and $650,000.00 a partial concession is available on the amount of stamp duty payable. The First Home-New Home scheme also allows for a full stamp duty concession on vacant blocks of land valued up to $350,000.00 and a concession on blocks valued between $350,000.00 and $450,000.00
As of 1 September 2013 the First Home Owners Grant of $12,500.00 came into effect for new or substantially renovated homes. This coincided with the first home buyer grant of $7,000.00 ceasing on 31 August 2013 for ACT first home buyers purchasing existing homes.
Properties which will be covered under the First Home Owners Grant as being ‘new or substantially renovated’ include:
Another change to the ACT First Home Owners Grant is that the residency requirement has been increased from 6 to 12 months, commencing within 12 months of completion of the purchase.
The Home Buyer Concession Scheme provides assistance to persons in purchasing a new residential home or residential vacant land by charging duty at a concessional rate. The concession ceased for the purchase of an established property as of 1 September 2012. To apply for a concession the purchaser must meet the total gross income threshold, which as of 5 June 2013 is $160,000.00. The total gross income is the combined total gross income of all applicants and their partners over a twelve month period prior to the transfer. If there are dependent children the threshold is raised, according to the number of dependent children.
The rate of concession differs based on the value of the property or block of land.
The $7,000.00 first home owners grant which was available to purchasers of an existing home ceased to apply as of 11 October 2012.
The current scheme in QLD is the Great Start Grant. This grant provides $15,000.00 to first home owners who purchase or a new house, unit, townhouse or build off the plan, valued at $750,000.00 or less. The definition of a new home under this scheme incorporates a home that has been substantially renovated.
There are also stamp duty concessions available to first home buyers, regardless of whether the purchase is for an existing or new property or a vacant block of land. To be eligible for the First home concession you must:
The rates of concession differ depending on the purchase price of the property or vacant land.
In line with the other states and territories, there is no grant currently available to first home buyers of established homes in Victoria.
For contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2013 for the purchase of a new home there is a First Home Owner Grant of $10,000.00. The First Home Owner Grant is not means tested. However, to be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant, for contracts entered into on or after 1 January 2010, the price of the property or the construction must not exceed $750,000.00
While there are stamp duty concessions offered to first home buyers, as of 1 July 2013 no concession is offered to first home buyers of an established home. To be eligible for the stamp duty concession you must reside in the property as your principal place of residence for a minimum continuous period of twelve months.