Cairns Conveyancing Solicitors | Conveyancing Solicitors

Current Government Grants Available to First Home Buyers

Current Government Grants Available to First Home Buyers

Buying real estate for the first time in Queensland means that you may be eligible for grants and concessions that you likely won’t be eligible for with later purchases. However, as it is your first purchase, you may not understand the terms or the process in accessing the concessions and grants.

In Queensland, some of the concessions and grants you may be eligible for as a first home buyer as of June 2020 include the:  

  • First Home Loan Deposit Scheme;
  • First Home Buyers Grant;
  • First Home Stamp Duty Concession; and
  • Home Builder Grant.

Here, we will provide you with the basic summary of these benefits and how you can access them.  

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

Normally first home buyers with a deposit of less than 20% will be required to pay lenders mortgage insurance (“LMI”). Under the scheme, eligible first home buyers can now purchase a property with a deposit of as little as 5% and not have to pay LMI (lenders criteria also apply).

From 1 January 2020, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation released 10,000 scheme places for the 2019-2020 financial year; these now have now been exhausted. However, the NHFIC will be releasing another 10,000 schemes for the next financial year, available from 1 July 2020.

The following criteria will need to be met:

  • You are an Australian Citizen who is at least 18 years of age
  • Singles with a taxable income of up to $125,000 per annum and couples with a taxable income of up to $200,000 per annum
  • You have at least 5% of the value of an eligible property saved as a deposit
  • The purchase price is $400,000 or less
  • You must occupy the home as your primary place of residence
  • You have not previously owned or had an interest in a property in Australia either separately or jointly

If you meet the requirements, then you will be able to access this via your bank or broker.

First Home Buyers Grant

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme was first introduced on 1 July 2000, and since then it has changed immensely.

If you enter into a contract of sale from 1 July 2018 then you may be able to access the Queensland Grant of $15,000 towards buying or building your new home. If you are building a new home in a regional part of Queensland, including Cairns and surrounds, the grant is $20,000.

The following criteria will need to be met:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident – you may apply with someone who is
  • You have not previously owned or had an interest in a property in Australia either separately or jointly
  • You must be buying or building a brand new home
  • The value (including the land) is less than $750,000
  • You must move into the home as your primary place of residence within 1 year of the completed transaction and live there for a minimum of 6 months

If you meet the requirements, then you will be able to access this via your bank or broker.

First Home Stamp Duty Concession

The Queensland Government offers first home buyers a discounted rate on stamp duty when purchasing their first home or a vacant block of land.

To be eligible for either of these concessions, you do not need to be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. If you are a foreigner, then you may still need to pay the additional foreign acquirer duty.

The first home concession only applies to a home value less than $550,000 and can save you up to $15,925.00.

The following criteria will need to be met for the first home concession:

  • Have never claimed the first home vacant land concession
  • Have never held an interest in another residence anywhere in Australia or Overseas
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Reside in the property as your primary place of residence within 1 year of the settlement date and remain there on a daily basis for at least 12 months from the date you move in

The first home vacant land concession only applies to a land value less than $400,000 and can save you up to $7,175.

The following criteria will need to be met for the first home vacant land concession:

  • Have never claimed the first home vacant land concession
  • Have never held an interest in another residence anywhere in Australia or Overseas
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Build your first home on the land, move in and reside there within 2 years of the land settlement date
  • Only build 1 home on the land
  • Be certain there is no building, or part of a building or structure on the land when acquiring it

If you meet the requirements for either of the first home stamp duty concessions, then you will be able to access them via your solicitor or conveyancer.

Home Builder Grant

In 2020, the Federal Government released a time-limited grant to assist the residential construction industry in its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The home builder grant will provide eligible applicants with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.

You do not need to be a first home buyer to be able to access this grant, however, it is available to first home buyers as well.

The following criteria will need to be met:

  • You are a natural person – this means that you are not acting as a trust or a company in the transaction
  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You are an Australian Citizen
  • If you are an individual, then you must earn less than $125,000 per annum based on your 2018-2019 tax return or later, and if you are a couple then you must earn less than $200,000 per annum based on your 2018-2019 tax return or later
  • You must enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 – if you are building a new home then the property value must not exceed $750,00
  • Construction must commence within 3 months of the contract date

If you meet the requirements of the home builder grant, then you will be able to access it via your bank or broker.

For more information about government grants, speak to a conveyancer at Cairns Conveyancing Solicitors.

 

 

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