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What is the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)?

If you’re a prospective first home owner, the first home owners grant (FHOG), also known as the first home buyers grant, presents an opportunity to acquire state funding for your purchase or construction. It’s important to understand how your local government can support a homeowner to-be, and what advantages may be available for you.

How much is the First Home Owner Grant?

Amounts granted to first home owners differ between states and properties. Various concessions outside of the FHOG may also be available, including savings on stamp duty. 

First Home Owner Grant eligibility

While requirements to qualify for the first home buyers’ grant vary between states, some general criteria are shared across Australia, including:

  • Being at least 18 years old,
  • Be a permanent resident or citizen of Australia,
  • Live in the property as your home for a set period of time,
  • Be a first-time home owner in Australia.
a woman holding her phone while sitting

How to apply for the First Home Owner Grant

First home buyers’ grant applications can be done through an approved agent or directly to the state revenue office. Online application forms are available on state websites.

Applications should be lodged within a year of purchase or completion of construction. Written explanations will be required for late applications.

The First Home Owner Grant for existing or established homes

Established homes may not be eligible (unless substantially renovated) for the FHOG, depending on the state. Keep reading for state specific FHOG information. 

The FHOG and stamp duty

As part of property purchases, a one-time tax is imposed upon transferring legal ownership for an asset – known as stamp duty. It may also be referred to as transfer duty or property transfer duty. While this can quickly add up during property purchasing, first-time home buyers may be eligible for savings from their state government.

First Home Owner Grant by location

As a first home buyer, you may be eligible for a variety of financial support schemes from your state.

man signing contract

Queensland (QLD)

First home owner grant applications in Queensland may be done through approved agents, or mailed to the Queensland Revenue Office in Brisbane. 

How much is the Queensland

First Home Owners Grant?

For first time home buyers (and builders), the government grants $15,000 for new homes costing under $750,000 (for contracts dated 1st July 2018 or later).

queensland map and residential houses

Eligibility

Home buyers who meet the following criteria will be eligible for the first home owners grant:

  • Being at least 18 years of age.
  • Being an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Otherwise, you may apply with someone else who meets this criteria – spouses of citizens or permanent residents may still have eligibility.
  • Purchasing or building a new home costing less than $750,000 (including the land value).
  • Move into the new home within a year of completing transactions, and reside there principally for six continuous months.

Stamp duty

Concessional rates may be applied to stamp duties, depending on the property’s purchase price. First home buyers are eligible for transfer duty concessions for homes below $550,000 in value, and up to $400,000 for vacant lots.

Different eligibility criteria apply for first home concessions and first home vacant land concessions..

You may not acquire the full benefits of these concessions if you choose to dispose of part of the property within a year of moving in.

Other QLD first home buyer grants

Aside from the Queensland government’s FHOG, certain first home owners may also be eligible for the regional home building boost grant. The HomeBuilder grant, intended for Queenslanders building homes, has been closed to any applications.

Victoria (VIC)

For first-time home buyers in Victoria, applications should be completed online or through an approved agent. Banks or credit unions will usually lodge an application for you.

How much is the Victoria

First Home Owners Grant?

The first home owners’ grant is worth $10,000. Before 30 June 2021, the grant was worth $20,000 for homes outside Melbourne.

Victoria map and residential houses

Eligibility

To qualify for the first home owner grant in Victoria, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Occupy the home as your principal place of reside for a year, within a year of settlement or completion of construction,
  • Be 18 years or older,
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (on the date of settlement or completion construction).

New Zealanders in Australia holding a s32 visa and holders of the s30(1) permanent visa are considered permanent residents.

Stamp duty

In Victoria, first home buyers may be eligible for duty exemptions; provided the dutiable value of their home is less than $600,000. Concessional rates apply for homes priced below $750,000.

Unlike the FHOG, stamp duty exemptions and concessions are not subject to regional restrictions. It can only be claimed once, and cannot be received if your partner has previously claimed it.

Foreign purchasers may be subject to different duty rates.

South Australia (SA)

South Australian first home owner grant applications must be lodged through an agent, or emailed or posted to the SA Revenue Office in Adelaide. 

How much is the South Australia

First Home Owners Grant?

The south Australian government provides grants up to $15,000, depending on the property’s purchase price.

SA map and residential houses

Eligibility

The criteria to qualify for the first home owner grant in South Australia are as follows:

  • The home being purchased is new, and has not been previously occupied or sold as a residence,
  • The property’s market value is below $570,000,
  • At least one applicant must hold Australian citizenship, permanent residency, or be a New Zealander permanently living in Australia with a special category visa,
  • All applicants are 18 or older,
  • Neither you or your spouse have previously received the FHOG in Australia,
  • Neither you or your spouse have held interest in an Australian residential property before 1 July 2000, and
  • You and your spouse have never occupied an Australian residential property which you have held interest in for 6 months or more, after 1 July 2000.
  • All applicants must continuously reside in the new home for a minimum of 6 months, commencing one year after settlement or completion of construction.

The state no longer provides FHOG for established homes, but substantially renovated homes are still considered ‘new’.

Stamp duty

Unlike other Australian states, South Australia doesn’t offer stamp duty exemptions or concessions for first home buyers.

New South Wales (NSW)

In New South Wales, first home buyers’ grant applications may be lodged through a list of approved agents, or emailed directly to the NSW Revenue Office in Sydney. 

How much is the New South Wales

First Home Owners Grant?

The NSW FHOG is worth $10,000.

NSW map and residential houses

Eligibility

To qualify for the FHOG in NSW, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an individual (not a company or a trust),
  • Be aged over 18,
  • Be, or apply with, a holder of Australian citizenship/permanent residency,
  • You and your spouse have never owned a home in Australia before the 1st of July 2000,
  • You and your spouse have never previously received the first home owner grant,
  • Live in the first home within a year of completed construction, or purchase, for at least half a year.

You may still be eligible for an NSW first home owner grant despite having purchased residential property – on the condition that you haven’t lived there for six months.

Stamp duty exemption

Under the First Home Buyer Assistance (FHBAS) scheme, stamp duty for NSW first home buyers may be discounted, or exempted altogether. Before 1 August 2021, the FHBAS will have lower thresholds for concession eligibility.

The First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme (FHBAS)

Special conditions to the FHBAS of New South Wales will be active between 1 August 2020 – 31 July 2021. Any first home purchases made before or after these dates will be subject to different stamp duty conditions.

Buying vacant land

When purchasing vacant land priced below $400,000, first home owners will be exempt from stamp duty fees. You will still receive discounts at concessional rates up to land prices of $500,000.

Buying a new home

Until 1 August 2021, new home purchases below $800,000 will be exempt from stamp duty – with concessional rates applying up to a price of $1,000,000. Afterwards, exemptions will only apply to new home purchases priced below $650,000. Concessional rates will apply for purchases between $650,000 and $800,000.

Buying an existing home

The New South Wales FHOG is available on existing homes, but only if the home has been substantially renovated. Otherwise, they are exempt from state funding.

Unlike new homes and vacant lots, there are no changes to existing homes’ stamp duties – purchases below $650,000 are exempt, while homes priced $650,000 – $800,000 receive concessional rates.

Tasmania (TAS)

The Tasmanian government provides first home owner grants, which can be applied for through an agent or directly at Service Tasmania shops.

How much is the Tasmania

First Home Owners Grant?

First home owners purchasing or building a new residence in Tasmania are privy to grants worth up to $30,000, up to 30 June 2023. Prior to 1 April 2021, the grant was valued at $20,000.

TAS map and residential houses

Eligibility

To qualify for the Tasmanian FHOG, you must:

  • Be a natural person (companies or trusts excluded),
  • Be 18 years of age,
  • Have at least one applicant possess Australian citizenship/permanent residency.

Furthermore, you and your spouse must:

  • Have never owned a residence in Australia before 1 July 2000,
  • Have never owned and occupied a home for more than half a year in Australia after 1 July 2000,
  • Have never received the first home owner grant.

Additionally, the Tasmanian government imposes eligibility requirements on buildings – you must have entered the contract to build or buy a new home between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2023. For owner-builders, the same date constraints apply to the commencement of construction.

Any building must be completed within 2 years of construction commencement to qualify for the Tasmanian FHOG, and be classified as such at the issue date of the occupancy certificate.

Stamp duty

First time home buyers purchasing existing homes may be eligible for the first home buyers of established homes duty concession, providing a 50% discount on stamp duties..

Western Australia (WA)

The state of Western Australia provides grants for first home owners. To apply, an application form must be filled, and sent through an agent or directly to RevenueWA. Applications must be lodged within 12 months of completing the transaction or construction of a new home.

How much is the WA First Home Owners Grant?

In the state of Western Australia, grants up to $10,000 are available for first home buyers purchasing or building a new home. Pre-existing homes, unless substantially renovated, are not eligible.

WA map and residential houses

Eligibility

Requirements for Western Australian FHOG applicants are as follows:

  • Be aged over 18,
  • Be, or apply with, at least one holder of Australian citizenship/permanent residency,
  • You and your spouse have never owned a home in Australia before 1 July 2000, or owned a home in Australia on or after 1 July 2000, and occupied it as a residence.
  • You and your spouse have never previously received the first home owner grant,
  • Live in the home within a year of completed construction or purchase for at least a year or half a year respectively.

Stamp duty

In Western Australia, first home buyers are privy to stamp duty cuts, with full exemptions for homes priced under $430,000 and concessional rates for homes priced under $500,000.

Perth

In the Perth metropolitan area (south of the 26th parallel), the FHOG applies to properties valued up to $750,000. Otherwise, grants apply to properties valued up to $1,000,000.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

In Australian Capital Territory, the FHOG is no longer available – the home buyer concession (HBCS) scheme has replaced it, effective 1 July 2019. HBCS allows exemptions from stamp duty, on the condition that your household income is below certain thresholds.

HBCS eligibility

To qualify for the HBCS, the following criteria must be met:

  • All buyers of the property are 18 years or over,
  • The total income of all buyers do not exceed the income thresholds,
  • All buyers must not have owned property in the last two years,
  • At least one buyer must occupy the property for a year, starting within 12 months of the settlement date.

All properties in Canberra and surrounding townships are eligible for the HBCS.

ACT map and residential houses

Northern Territory (NT)

Territorians may apply for the First Home Owners Grant through a financial institution if they are receiving aid, or directly to the Territory Revenue Office in Darwin.

How much is the NT First Home Owners Grant?

The Northern Territory government provides an $10,000 FHOG for first home builders or buyers, unaffected by your income or home’s price.

NT map and residential houses

Eligibility

To qualify for the Northern Territory FHOG, you must:

  • Be a first-time applicant to the FHOG,
  • Be a natural person aged 18 and over,
  • Be a permanent resident or Australian citizen,
  • Never owned an Australian residence before 1 July 2000,
  • Never owned and occupied an Australian residence after 1 July 2000,
  • Live in your home for half a year within 12 months of purchase.

Stamp duty

At the moment, Territorians are not provided concessions on stamp duty. Before 1 July 2021, the Territory Home Owner Discount provided up to $18,601 off stamp duties.

Other NT first home buyer grants

Before 14 April 2021, first home builders were able to get up to $20,000 to assist in building their home through the BuildBonus grant.

Becoming a first home owner may be daunting, but with grants and concessions from your state, you may be able to save on valuable costs and get your dream home sooner.

couple getting their first home

Disclaimer: This article is not intended as legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such. Before making any commitment of a legal or financial nature you should seek advice from a qualified and registered Australian legal practitioner or financial or investment advisor.  

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