From time to time the government seeks to stimulate the economy by offering grants and exemptions to entice us to dip our toes into the property market. First Home buyers have been the traditional beneficiaries of these grants, with the original First Home Owner Grant being introduced in July 2000 in an attempt to negate the effect on the property market of the newly introduced GST. Since that time there have been numerous schemes with similar names helping first home buyers realise the Australian dream of property ownership.

Eligible first home buyers can currently apply for two schemes – one that provides a grant of $10,000, and the other an exemption or concession from stamp duty.

First Home Owner Grant (New Homes Scheme)

– Grant of $10,000
– For purchasing a brand new (never lived in & being sold for the first time) home under $600,000
– For building a new home where the total price of land and building is under $750,000

Individuals over 18 that have not owned or co-owned property in Australia may apply for this grant. At least one of the purchasers must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident. If you have purchased a residential property since 1 July 2000 and lived in it for less than 6 months you may also be eligible for the grant.

One of the purchasers must move into the home within 12 months and continue to live there for at least 6 months. If you are building a new home you must move in within 12 months after the house has been constructed.

First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme

This scheme provides an exemption or concession on the amount of stamp duty payable when a first home buyer purchases an existing home, new home or vacant land on which they will build a home. Thresholds apply which have changed over time, most recently in August 2020.

New Homes – Full stamp duty exemption for new homes under $800,000. If the property is over this amount you will pay a concessional rate of duty between $800,000 and $1 million.

Existing Homes – Full stamp duty exemption for existing homes under $650,000. If the property is over this amount a concessional rate of duty is payable between $650,000 and $800,000.

Vacant land – Full stamp duty exemption for land under $400,000. If the land is over this amount a concessional rate of duty is payable between $400,000 and $500,000.

This scheme is for individuals over 18 who have not owned residential property in Australia. At least one of the first home buyers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You must live in the property for at least 6 months within 12 months of buying the property.

Still confused about whether you are eligible for these grants? Contact the Property Law Team at Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.

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