The First Home Owners Grant

By Matthew Kenworthy | First Home Buyers

The First Home Owners Grant is a grant of $15,000 (currently boosted until 31 December, 2017) paid to eligible first home owners purchasing their first home in Australia. The information below is specific to Western Australia however much of it will hold true for applicants in other states.

Since October 3, 2015 first home buyers building their first home have been eligible to receive a $10,000 grant. This has since been bosted to $15,000 until the end of 2017.

There is no longer a grant available for first home buyers purchasing an established property however stamp duty concessions are still applicable.

In most instances the first home owners grant application is lodged with the financier providing the home loan. The funds from the grant are paid direct to the lender and are made available to your conveyancer (or other legal representation) at settlement.

The information below is general only and not intended to be specific to your situation. If in doubt it’s best to contact the administering governing body in your state. In Western Australia the grant is administered by the Department of Finance.

First Home Owners Grant Eligibility Criteria

The following criteria have been taken from the First Home Owners Grant application form located here.

  • Applicant or spouse has never received the grant before (either on their own or with another person), or has never had to repay the grant.
  • Applicant or spouse has never owned a residential property in any capacity since 1 July 2000 in Australia.
  • If they’ve owner a residential property after 1 July 2000 that they never lived in the property before 1 July 2004 or; never occupied it for a continuous period of at least 6 months after 1 July 2004.
  • Is a natural person (not a company or trust) and at least 18 years of age.
  • Is either an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident at the time of applying for the grant. A citizen or permanent resident buying with a non-resident should still be eligible for the grant.
  • Must be occupying the home for a continuous period of 6 months within 12 months of the transaction.
  • Must have entered into a contract to purchase a home, build a home or commenced construction if an owner builder. The total value of the home must not exceed $750,000 for homes south of the 26th parallel or $1,000,000 for homes north of the 26th parallel.

If you’re unsure of whether you meet any of the above criteria it’s best to check with the relevant government department in your state.

Stamp Duty Concessions

In Western Australia there is no stamp duty payable for first home owners purchasing up to $430,000. Between $430,000 and $530,000 a discounted rate applies. First home owners purchasing above $530,000 incur the full rate of duty.

Many first home owners don’t realise that the Stamp Duty concessions can actually be more valuable than the former grant. The graph below details the current rate of duty in Western Australia that would be applicable to various property purchase prices for established properties.

The purple bars show the stamp duty payable by non-first home buyers. The discounted rate for eligible first home buyers is shown in grey.

About the Author

Matthew Kenworthy is a specialist in all aspects of Residential & Commercial Finance. He can assist all borrowers from First Home Buyers to Property Investors with Large Portfolios.