What are the first home owner grants available in New South Wales?

New South Wales is one of the most in-demand and competitive states to purchase a property in the country. It’s especially tough for first-time buyers, who might be overwhelmed by the consistent increase in house prices.

Thanks to certain government schemes and incentives, first home buyers can receive a cash boost to make their home buying dreams a reality. In this article, we’ll explain how the New South Wales First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) works, as well as:

NSW First Home Owner Grant

First home buyers in NSW can apply for the First Home Owner Grant, which is a nationwide government scheme intended for Australian citizens or permanent residents who are buying or constructing a new home. Each state and territory has its own rules and eligibility criteria for the grant.

For more information on the NSW New Homes Grant, visit the NSW Department of Revenue. But here are the most important points:

How much can you get from the grant?

New South Wales’ FHOG provides qualified first-home buyers with a $10,000 cash grant for the purchase or construction of their new home. The grant is accessible to first-home buyers who purchased a newly-built house, townhouse, apartment, or unit.

The $10,000 grant is also available to first-home buyers who purchased off-the-plan or acquired a property that is substantially renovated.   

What are the price limits for the grant?

While the grant is not means-tested, the NSW government has set a price cap that limits the properties qualified for the grant. The price cap varies depending on the transaction type.

Transaction type

Price Cap

Purchase of new home

Up to $600,000

Contract to build a home

Up to $750,000

(Overall value of house and land)

Owner-builder

Up to $750,000

(Overall value of house and land)

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be buying as an individual or a couple, not as a company or a trust
  • You must not have previously owned a home before 1 July 2000
  • You must occupy the target property as your principal place of residence within 12 months of the construction or purchase. The occupancy must be six continuous months
  • You must not have received a First Home Owner Grant in other states
  • If you are applying with someone, one of you must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident

How do you apply for the NSW First Home Owner Grant?

To apply for the grant, you will need to fill out the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Application form.

The form outlines all the documentary requirements you will need to submit with your application.

There are two ways to apply for the grant: either through your lender or financial institution or through the NSW Revenue Office.

Applying through your lender

The NSW Revenue Office has a list of approved agents that include banks, lenders, and other financial institutions. When you lodge your home loan application, they usually also include the application for the grant.

Applying through NSW Revenue Office

You can also opt to apply directly through the NSW Revenue Office once you have completed the purchase of your home. Your application must be submitted within 12 months after you have completed the settlement of your property.

If you constructed the home, you must submit your application within 12 months after the construction is completed.

Documentary Requirements

When you apply for the grant, you will also have to supply supporting documents that will serve as proof of your property transaction. This includes:

  • A copy of the contract for sale
  • A title search showing the applicant as owners
  • A statement from the vendor stating the property has never been occupied since the completion of the transaction
  • Final build cost statement from the builder
  • Evidence of the total value of the property (for owner-builders)

Can the grant be used for a deposit?

The First Home Owner Grant can be used as part of your deposit, however, given the grant is only $10,000 it’s likely you would need to cough up more of your own savings in order to avoid the high cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). To avoid the cost of LMI, you’ll often need a deposit of at least 20% of the property’s value. Lenders also need to see that you’ve saved up most of the deposit yourself. The grant is simply there to provide a bit of a boost.

Are there stamp duty discounts for first home buyers in NSW?

Stamp duty can be a major cost and yet another barrier for first home buyers trying to enter the market. First home buyers in NSW can qualify for stamp duty relief through the First Home Buyer Assistance scheme.

NSW stamp duty concessions for first home buyers

The First Home Buyer Assistance scheme (FHBAS) provides a concessional rate of stamp duty or even total exemption from paying it altogether for eligible first home buyers.

Unlike the FHOG, the FHBAS applies to the purchase of existing homes as well as new homes and vacant land on which you intend to build a home. To learn more about the latest first home buyer loans in the market, go to this page: Compare First Home Buyer Home Loans.

After August 2021, the following stamp duty breaks apply in NSW:

  • No stamp duty on new and existing properties up to $650,000 and vacant land up to $350,000
  • Discounted stamp duty for properties between $650,000-$800,000 and vacant land between $350,000 and $450,000

How much could you save on stamp duty?

If your transaction for a new or existing home meets the exemption threshold of $650,000, you will be able to save roughly $24,457 on transfer duty. Take note that transfer duty goes up along with the property price.

The NSW Revenue Office has an online calculator that can help you determine how much you will be able to save when you apply for the scheme.

Transaction

Transfer duty payable

Discount/Savings

Purchase of new home worth $700,000

$10,402

$16,305

Purchase of existing home worth $550,000

0

$19,957

Purchase of existing home worth $800,100

$31,252

0

Purchase of vacant land worth $350,000

0

$10,957

Purchase of vacant land worth $400,000

$7,729

$5,479

What other schemes and government incentives can first home buyers use in NSW?

The Family Home Guarantee

The Family Home Guarantee allows single parents to secure a home loan with as little as a 2% deposit, without having to pay LMI thanks to a government guarantee of up to 18%.

The scheme was introduced in the 2021/22 Federal Budget and will offer 10,000 spots over four financial years.

Previous owner-occupiers can apply for the scheme, as well as first home buyers. A maximum annual income cap of $125,000 applies, it must be for principal and interest (P&I) repayments, and for loans no longer than 30 years.

The New Home Guarantee

The New Home Guarantee (previously known as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme) is a scheme that offers up to 10,000 spots to first home buyers each year. Under the scheme, first home buyers can purchase a house with a deposit as low as 5% and the government will guarantee the remainder of the loan amount (up to 15%) to ensure the borrower doesn’t need to pay LMI.

The scheme is subject to price caps, availability, and is limited to new homes. The scheme is only available through 27 specific lenders.

The First Home Super Saver Scheme

The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) was first introduced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget and helps first home buyers save a deposit quicker. Under the scheme, first home buyers can make voluntary concessional (taxed at a discounted rate of 15%) and non-concessional (already taxed at your marginal rate) contributions into their super fund, which can later be withdrawn for a deposit on a home.

While in the super fund, the contributions will earn a deemed rate of return (currently 3.04% p.a.).

Up to $15,000 per year can be contributed per person and up to $30,000 can be withdrawn (plus earnings), although this is set to increase to $50,000 from July 2022. 

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the common questions asked by first-home buyers about the application process of the FHOG and FHBAS.

Will my income affect my application for FHOG and FHBAS?

No, the grant and the scheme are not means-tested. The eligibility for the two support programs relies on you being a first-home buyer and the property transaction you are applying with, and not on your income.

I own an investment property — will I still be able to apply for the scheme?

If you have owned an interest in residential property since 1 July 2000 that has been solely used for investment purposes, you may be eligible for the grant on another property.

Are inherited properties qualified under the FHOG and FHBAS?

No. You must be a buyer or a builder if you want to apply for the FHOG and the FHBAS.

What will happen if I move out of the house in the first 12 months?

As long as you have lived in your home for six continuous months within the first twelve months, you will not be required to repay the grant and the stamp duty discount. Failing to repay the grant might result in a fine of up to $11,000.

I am buying a home with my partner. Will each of us receive the grant?

The grant is payable per transaction. Two first-home buyers involved with the purchase of a single property will only be eligible for one grant.

I have property overseas — can I still apply for the grant?

You will still be eligible for the grant even if you own a property overseas if you have never owned a property in Australia.

This article was originally published on 3/9/19 and was updated on 2/2/22.

Collections: