FHOG grant

First Home Owner Grant

First Home Owner Grant 2016 Across Australia

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) was introduced by the Australian federal government in the year 2000 to counterbalance the effect of Goods and Services Tax (GST) while purchasing or constructing a home. This one-off payment of $7,000 was a federal scheme that is now funded by states and territories – thus the FHOG amount, eligibility criteria, and property specifications vary slightly from one state to another state. These rules are tweaked by individual states, almost every year. This post details out the latest in the FHOG across states and territories in 2016.

During the global financial crisis of 2008/9, the FHOG was nearly doubled in almost every state to assist first homebuyers get into their home. Though these increments have normalized since then, first homebuyers could still benefit from a range of extra state-specific incentives encouraging home ownership for first time buyers. Though in the past, the grant was available for buying established properties, recently all states have it mandatory that the property is new or substantially renovated home.

FHOG Amount in General: All states offer the minimum $7,000 FHOG. The total amount can increase depending on the state or territory you reside or are buying the property in. Some states and territories, compliment the original grant amount with additional grants, subsidies on stamp duty, or may provide an additional amount if you are constructing a new house or buying the house in some selected regional areas. This non-taxable grant is administered by the state government through approved banks and lending institutions. Though you won’t need to hire a mortgage broker for acquiring it, having a qualified mortgage broker has benefits when utilizing the first home owner’s grant.

FHOG Property Purchase Amount Ceilings Though this is a non-means tested grant that does not consider monthly income and other financial information of the applicant, it nevertheless has some restrictions based on the price of the properties in some states. Apart from that most of the states/territories have greater rewards for those willing to build a new house on vacant land. This can vary the grant amount to a significant extent. The grant amount varies between $10,000 in Victoria and $30,000 in Tasmania.

Despite the differences and state-specific tweaks, here are some of the most general eligibility criteria to qualify for the First Home Owner Grant.

General Eligibility Criteria for FHOG in Australia

  • The applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • The applicant must not have owned property in this country
  • The applicant must have lived in Australia for at least six months
  • The applicant must be over 18 years of age
  • The applicant must be buying or building a first property as a person, not as a company or trust – meaning that FHOG is available only to people and not businesses or other entities.
  • Both the applicant and his/her partner must not have received this grant before. Yes, if your spouse has already claimed the grant, you are disqualified from it.
  • The house must be located in Australia, and be a new or established house, home unit, flat, or other type of self contained fixed dwelling that can be lawfully used as a place of residence.
  • The applicants or at least one of the applicants must reside in the property for at least six months, starting at any point in the first 12 months immediately after purchasing/construction completion of the house.
  • Depending on the state or territories that the house is purchased/constructed maximum purchase price is between $575,000 and $1m.
  • In almost every instance, the property must be either new or ‘substantially renovated’ (i.e. much more than just a new kitchen).
Approval and Payment Schedule and Method of FHOG:

The FHOG is typically approved when you settle your property purchase. The payment is typically made to your lender if you have taken a home loan through a state approved lender and to your own account, if you have not taken out a loan. However, though these payment modes and methods differ from state to state, here are the general details:

If you have purchased an established or new home or made a purchase off the plan, FHOG payment is done on the date of settlement. In case you are building a new house, the payment is made to the contractor on the first progress payment. If you are an owner builder, the payment is made upon the submission of certificate of occupancy to the authorities.

Since the FHOG differs from state to state – read our state specific articles to understand about state-specific FHOG details or write to us using the form, one of our First Home Owner Grant specialists near you will get in touch with you shortly.