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First Home Owners Grant for Home Buyers in Australia
What is the First Home Owners Grant
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is a national scheme funded by the Australian states and territories and administered under their own legislation.
It was originally introduced on 1 July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership, but has been continued, as an incentive to assist the Australian house building industries.
How much is the First Home Owners Grant
The normal rate for the First Home Owners Grant is $7000, payable to eligible first home owners.
From January 1st 2010:
Each state in Australia will be able to set limits on the house prices that are eligible for the First Home Owners grant from January 2010.
Examples of these limits, so far declared, are:
- $1,000,000 Queensland
- $ 750,000 NSW
- $ 600,000 Victoria
- $ 750,000 WA
- $ 750,000 NT
- Not yet stated: ACT, SA, TAS
- From 14 Oct 2008 until 30 September 2009, the FHOG will be doubled to $14,000, with an Extra $7,000 for new home buyers
This means that a First Home Buyer, can get a grant $14,000 for an existing property, or $21,000 for a New build property, towards the cost of the property.
From 1 October 2009 to 31 December 2009 this extra grant will be reduced and the total grant will become $10,500 for established homes and $14,000 for new homes.
From 1 January 2010 the grant will revert to just $7,000 again.
Eligibility for the First Home Owners Grant
Some of the criteria to be satisfied for eligibility for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)
- You and your spouse/partner must not have previously received a grant in any other State or Territory of Australia.
- You and your spouse/partner must not have owned any residential property, either jointly, separately or with some other person prior to 1 July 2000, in any State or Territory of Australia.
- At least one applicant must be a permanent resident, or Australian citizen, at the time of settlement or completion of construction of the home .
- At least one of the applicants must occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 6 months, commencing within 12 months of either settlement or completion of construction.
- There is no income Limit, for consideration for this grant.
The property does not cost more than $750,000.
What happens if you claim the First Home Grant but are not eligible
If you are deemed to be not eligible for the grant, after you have received it, the Government can claim it back, and sometimes apply penalties, if intended fraud is involved.
A report in the Queensland Sunday Mail on 13th September 2009 stated the following:
Most failed to meet the 12-month Australian residency requirements to get the grant. Others already owned a home while at least one was found to be living overseas and renting the property bought with the grant.
The crackdown recovered more than $1 million in grants and fines.
“In one case, Treasury’s investigators found that the applicant was living overseas and renting the property to a tenant. This applicant had to pay a penalty of $7,000 as well as repaying the grant they received.”
Full Story: www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26062720-952,00.html
Grant or Concession ?
Some confusion arises over people who have owned property overseas and whether they are eligible for the first home owner Grants and concessions.
The First Home Federal website quotes the following:
Ive previously owned property overseasam I still eligible for the grant and first home concession ?
You can apply for the ‘grant’ if you have owned property overseas.
You cannot claim a first home ‘concession’ if you have owned property overseas, as you have already owned your first home.
The Federal website covering the main rules for all of Australia is at:
Each State and Territory in Australia has its own grant scheme, and different rules may apply.
At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or a Permanent Resident at the time of Application for the grant
The application must be lodged within 12 months of completion
These details at March 2009 from the Application form PDF file
At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or a Permanent Resident at the commencement of the eligible transaction (ie. at the date the contract is made). www.dtf.wa.gov.au
In WA you may also be entitled to the Home Buyers Assistance Account. For properties under $400k
You (or at least one applicant) must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen at the time of settlement or completion of construction of the home. www.sro.vic.gov.au
For contracts entered into after 1 January 2010, to qualify for the Grant, the price of the property or construction of the home must not exceed $750,000.
In Victoria, if you are eligible to receive the FHOG, you may also be entitled to receive an additional payment called the “First Home Bonus”.
This payment is as follows:
Contract date: 1 May 2004 to 30 June 2009
- Purchase price not to exceed $500,000
- $ 3,000 for established homes
- $ 5,000 for new homes only.Contract date: 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010
- Purchase price not to exceed $600,000
- $ 2,000 for established homes
- $11,000 for new homes only in Non Regional Locations
- $15,500 for new homes only in Specified Regional LocationsContract date: 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011
- Purchase price not to exceed $600,000
- $13,000 for new homes only
- $19,500 for new homes only in Specified Regional LocationsSource: Victoria First Home Bonus
Note: ** The quoted 6% Interest rate will be fixed until 30 June 2009. After 30 June 2009, the interest rate reverts to the standard variable FHSA interest rate