Chances are, you may have already heard about some of the available state and federal government support programmes aimed at helping more first home buyers get into their own home. With the prospect of homeownership becoming increasingly out of reach for more and more people, these programmes lend a vital helping hand to first home buyers to assist them in getting their foot in the property market.
Figuring out what programmes you can access will depend on factors such as the state you’re located in and the value of the home that you’re looking to buy or build. It can be difficult to wrap your head around the various programmes on offer, particularly as you may be able to access multiple incentives at both the state and federal level. For example in South Australia, you may be able to access the State Government's $15k First Home Owner Grant, as well as the Federal First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. This could end up saving you thousands of dollars and provide you with the boost that you need to get into your own home.
How do I know what I can access?
As a first home buyer, it is crucial you understand what government assistance you can access early on. It is a big part of determining your budget for your first home. You may be able to access multiple schemes.
Here are the Federal Government buyer assistance programs available to first home buyers in all states:
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme works by providing a guarantee that will allow eligible first home buyers on low and middle incomes to purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5% and be exempt from lenders mortgage insurance – which can save buyers tens of thousands of dollars.
The First Home Super Saver Scheme allows you to save money for your first home inside your super fund. This will help first home buyers save faster with the concessional tax treatment of superannuation.
Each state has different first home buyer assistance programs. In South Australia, buyers can access:
The First Home Owner Grant of up to $15k when they buy a new home with a value of $575k or less.
It is important to understand that you need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for each program and you will need to make applications for each scheme via an approved agent or directly to the relevant agency.
Making sense of all the information can be daunting, but our Start Point Home Ownership Experts can explain how it works in simple terms.
The First Home Owner Grant is paid by the State Government to eligible first home owners.
It applies to the purchase or construction of a new residential property, including a house, flat, unit, townhouse or apartment that meets local planning standards anywhere in South Australia. The grant is not available for established properties.
To be eligible for the grant:
At least one of the applicants must be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency in Australia. New Zealand citizens permanently residing in Australia who hold Special Category Visas may also apply.
The applicant or their spouse/partner must not have previously owned a residential property anywhere in Australia prior to 1 July 2000.
The applicant or their spouse/partner must not have owned a residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and occupied that property continuously for six months or more.
All applicants must occupy the home purchased or built as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months commencing within 12 months after completion of the eligible transaction.
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme allows first home buyers to purchase a home sooner. It does this by providing a guarantee that will allow eligible first home buyers on low and middle incomes to purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5%. The guarantee is not a cash payment and property price thresholds apply in each state.
This scheme is available to single people earning up to $125k, while couples earning up to $200k will also be eligible. Buyers must have saved at least 5% of the value of the home. Applicants must not have owned a home in Australia (either alone or jointly), and the applicants must intend to be the owner occupiers of the property.
The Federal Government has extended the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and allowed an extra 10,000 buyers to purchase a home with a minimum deposit of 5%. The scheme provides eligible first home buyers with a greater chance to enter the property market by guaranteeing up to 15% of the loan.
These additional places come as a great relief to many home buyers with less than a 20% deposit who were previously required to pay lenders mortgage insurance. Avoiding LMI can potentially save home buyers thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars.
Available to eligible buyers from October 6th for new or newly built homes the incentive will not only help more Australians enter the property market but also help boost the economy as it recovers from the effects of Covid-19.
The First Home Super Saver Scheme allows first home buyers to save their deposit inside their superfund. This means the savings receive the concessional tax treatment of superannuation.
First home buyers can make voluntary before tax and voluntary after-tax contributions to save for their first home. Buyers can facilitate this through salary sacrifice contributions if offered by their employer.
To be eligible you must be over 18 years of age and you must not have owned property in Australia. You must also intend to reside in the property for at least six months.
Before applicants start saving, they should check their nominated super fund will release the money under the scheme, and ask about any fees, charges and insurance implications that may apply.
First home buyers must apply for and receive a First Home Super Saver Scheme determination from the Australian Tax Office before they sign a contract for a home.
*Disclaimer: All information is taken from relevant Federal and State Government websites.Start Point and Simonds Homes do not determine the eligibility of customers for government buyer assistance programs. To qualify for government buyer assistance programs, customers must meet the eligibility requirements of the relevant agency and apply through an approved agent or the relevant agency.
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