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The NSW first home buyer grant and other concessions

So you’re thinking of buying your first home? An exciting move, and we’re here for you every step of the way with the latest info and tips. Yes, there’s some lingo to wrap your head around, but before long, you’ll be on top of stamp duty concessions and the HomeBuilder Grant.

If you’re buying or building a home for the first time in NSW, you could be eligible for financial help from the state government, bringing your dream of getting into the property market that much closer.

Here are NSW’s 3 assistance programs if you’re buying your first home:

1. First Home Assistance Scheme

Stamp duty is a government tax on certain purchases, including buying a home, land or investment property. The good news is, when you buy your first home and it’s in NSW, you might be eligible for a stamp duty exemption (you pay no stamp duty) or concession (a discount on the stamp duty). The amount of the discount depends on the value of your home.

Who can access it?

NSW residents buying their first home for less than $1 million. It can be a house, townhouse, apartment, unit or something similar.

Are you eligible to save on stamp duty?

  • You must be 18 or over at the date of the contract.
  • At least one of the first home buyers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must be an individual, not a company or trust.
  • You and your spouse/partner must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia.
  • You and your spouse/partner must never have received a first home buyer grant in Australia.
  • You or one of the other first home buyers must move into the new home as your principal place of residence within 12 months after buying the property, and live there for a continuous period of at least 6 months. If you’re a member of the Australian Defence Force when buying your first home and you’re on the NSW electoral roll (as is anyone you’re buying the property with), you won’t have to meet these residential requirements.
     

How it works

If you buy a new home valued at less than $800,000 you can apply for a full exemption and pay no stamp duty. Check this out on a NSW stamp duty calculator and you’ll see it saves you up to $31,335. 

If you buy a new home valued between $800,000 and $1 million, you can apply for a concessional stamp duty rate. The amount you save will be based on the value of your home. (For example, on a $900,000 home, you will only pay a stamp duty of $20,167.50, saving you $15,667.50)

If you buy an existing home valued at less than $650,000, you can apply for a full exemption and pay no stamp duty. A NSW stamp duty calculator shows this will save you up to $24,585.

If you buy an existing home valued between $650,000 and $800,000, you can apply for a concessional stamp duty rate. The amount you save will be based on the value of your home. (For example, on a $700,000 home you will pay $10,445 stamp duty, saving you $16,390.) 

If you buy land valued at less than $400,000, you won’t pay stamp duty. This will save you up to $13,335 according to a NSW stamp duty calculator.

If you buy land valued between $400,000 and $500,000, you’ll receive a concessional stamp duty rate. (For example, if you buy a block of land for $450,000 you will pay stamp duty of $8,917.50, saving you $6,667.50) 

These rates apply to contracts dated between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021.
 

How to apply for it

You’ll need to download and complete the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme application form and the Purchaser/Transferee Declaration Form (both available at revenue.nsw.gov.au). Lodge the application forms and supporting documents with your solicitor or conveyancer.


2. First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)

If you’re buying or building a new home or a substantially renovated one, you could receive a $10,000 grant.
 

Who can access it?

First home buyers buying a new home or a substantially renovated home in NSW, with a value of less than $600,000. If you are buying land to build on, the combined value of the land and any home you intend to build must be less than $750,000.
 

Are you eligible for the First Home Owner Grant?

  • You must be 18 or over at the date of the contract.
  • At least one of the first home buyers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must be an individual, not a company or trust.
  • You and your spouse/partner must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia.
  • You and your spouse/partner must never have received a first home buyer grant in Australia.
  • You or one of the other first home buyers must move into the new home as your principal place of residence within 12 months after buying the property, and live there for a continuous period of at least 6 months. If you’re a member of the Australian Defence Force when buying your first home and you’re on the NSW electoral roll (as is anyone you’re buying the property with), you won’t have to meet these residential requirements.
     

How it works

To qualify for this grant, you must be buying or building your first new home. This includes:

  • A newly built first property
  • A home that has been substantially renovated before you buy it. This means most or all of the house was removed or replaced, and this is the first time it’s been sold after the renovations. It can’t have been lived in, including by the builder or a tenant. 
  • A land and building package
  • Vacant land on which you’ll build a new home.
     

How to apply for your FHOG

You can apply for the FHOG through an approved agent (your lender, which can be a bank or other financial institution). They’ll lodge the application form on your behalf.

If you’ve already completed the purchase process or construction has started, you can send your application straight to revenue.nsw.gov.au . It needs to be received within 12 months of settlement (or the date construction of your new home was completed).
 

3. HomeBuilder Grant

If you’re building a new home, substantially renovating an existing one or buying a new (or off-the-plan) home, you could be eligible for the government’s $15,000 HomeBuilder grant.
 

Who can access it?

This grant applies to first home buyers and existing homeowners who earn no more than $125,000 (individuals) or $200,000 (couples).
 

Are you eligible?

  • You must be 18 or over at the date of the contract.
  • You must be an Australian citizen.
  • You must be an individual, not a company or trust.
  • The value of your new home (including land) can’t exceed $950,000. If you’re doing significant renovations (substantially altering your home or demolishing your home and rebuilding), they must be valued between $150,000 and $750,000, and the value of the existing property can’t exceed $1.5 million.
  • Your new home must not have previously been sold or occupied as a place of residence (unless you are doing significant renovations).
  • The contract must be signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 (inclusive). Construction doesn’t have to start before 31 March 2021, but it must start within six months of the contract date.

Eligibility and application process for the HomeBuilder Grant is governed by each State or Territory Government. Please speak with a lender to discuss how the grant could assist with your loan application.

How to apply for HomeBuilder

Details of how to lodge your application online are available at revenue.nsw.gov.au. You’ll lodge your application in a multi-step process, with the initial lodgement made after an eligible HomeBuilder contract has been entered into. Applications must be received no later than 14 April 2021.

 

As always, we’re here to help.

Call us on 13 33 30. Just say “new home loans” to chat with someone now.

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