Australia offers several incentives that can significantly reduce the amount of money required to buy a first home. These buyers must meet strict eligibility requirements in order to receive these grants. Therefore, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the operation of each scheme.

Your Mortgage gives an overview of all the government-sponsored benefits that are available to first-time homebuyers.

First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)

First-time homebuyers can receive cash grants from the states and territories to help with the purchase of a house. The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) is a one-off payment for first-time home buyers who either purchase an existing property or construct a new home.

Who is eligible

The eligibility criteria vary slightly between each state or territory. Although there are specific requirements for each state, the general criteria to qualify are:

  • Only one person can be a first homebuyer.

  • Minimum 18 years.

  • Must be a permanent resident of Australia or an Australian citizen.

  • Applicant or applicant’s spouse, partner, or co-purchaser must not have previously owned an interest in land in Australia, which had a residence on it before 1 July 2000

  • Applicant or applicant’s spouse, or partner cannot have lived in a residential property, which they owned from 1 July 2000

  • Not apply with anyone who has already claimed the grant, or apply together.

  • You must occupy your home as the principal residence (PPOR) within 12 month of construction or purchase. The minimum occupancy period is 12 continuous monthly.

Concessions and grants from the states

New South Wales

GrantThe state government provides a $10,000 FHOG towards the purchase of a $600,000.00 home or land to construct a home. The total land and dwelling values must not exceed $750,000.

Stamp duty concessionsBeginning in August 2020, new buyers will be eligible to receive an exemption from transfer duties for homes under $800,000. Existing homes should not exceed $650,000 and homes less than $800,000. Stamp duty concessions are also available for existing homes and new homes priced between $800,000.00 to $1m. If the land for which a house will built is less that $400,000., no transfer duties will apply. Concessions rates do not apply to land worth between $400,000 and 500,000.


GrantVictoria’s first-time buyers can receive a $10,000 grant to help them buy their first home and a $20,000 grant to help them purchase a regional home worth $750,000 or more.

Stamp duty concessionsStamp duty is not payable on homes under $600,000. Homes between $600,001- $750,000 qualify for a concession.


GrantQueensland’s first homebuyers can receive a $15,000 grant to help them buy homes less than $750,000. For those who build a new home, townhouse, or unit in Queensland, the state government provides a $5,000 grant. The building contracts must be signed between 16 June 2020 – 31 December 2020.

Stamp duty concessionsTransfer duty exemptions for homes valued at up to $550,000, and vacant land values up to 400,000.

South Australia

GrantFirst home buyers may receive as much as $15,000 for construction and purchase of new dwellings up to $575,000.

Stamp duty concessionsSouth Australia does NOT offer stamp duty concessions for first-time purchasers. However, they may be eligible for an exemption from stamp duty if they buy a new or substantially refurbished apartment valued up to $500,000.

Western Australia

GrantIf a property is located north of the 26th Parallel, the state government will provide a $10,000 FHOG.

Concessions on Stamp DutyConcessions and exemptions from transfer duty are available to buyers of homes under $530,000 and vacant land below $400,000.


GrantTasmanian First Home Buyers can receive a $20,000 grant to purchase and construct a home, or buy an off-the plan property.

Stamp duty concessionsIf the property’s value is over $400,000., buyers who own an established home are eligible to receive a discount of 50% on stamp duty

Northern Territory

GrantNo matter how valuable the property, first home buyers can receive a $10,000 grant to help them purchase or construct a home.

Concessions on Stamp Duty: For first-time buyers, the territory government provides a maximum $18,601 Territory Owner Discount (THOD).

Australian Capital Territory

FHOG was replaced by ACT. The Home Buyer Concession Scheme provides a full Stamp Duty Concession for eligible applicants.

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme allows first home buyers to purchase a property for as little as 5% deposit without having to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI). This scheme is restricted to 10,000 borrowers per financial year.

The federal government announced in October that 10,000 additional places will be available for qualified buyers for 2020/21. These additional places are available for first-time buyers who purchase new houses or construct new properties.

FHLDS is administered by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation in partnership to several lenders.

Who is eligible

An applicant must meet these criteria to be considered for FHLDS.

  • You must be an Australian citizen

  • Minimum 18 years.

  • Earning $125,000 per year or less for a single individual, or less than $200,000 per annum for a couple (based upon the latest tax return).

  • Couples can be married or be in a de facto relationship.

  • Applicant must be able to provide a deposit of at least 5% of the property’s value

  • Potential owner-occupier

  • Applicant or applicant’s spouse, partner, or co-purchaser must not have previously owned an interest in land in Australia

The scheme allows buyers to purchase the following types property:

  • A house, townhouse or apartment that is currently in use

  • A land and house package

  • To build a home, you can land together with a separate contract.

  • A townhouse or apartment off-the-plan

  • An “eligible building contract” where buyers have a contract with a licensed or registered builder to build their home within a set timeframe

There are also property price caps that vary from one state or another. The below table shows the maximum purchase price for Australian capital cities, large regional centres and regional areas, according to the NHFIC’s website.

Which lenders participate in the scheme

Region ID


Price Capacity for FHLDS

FHLDS (New Homes), only price cap


NSW – capital




NSW – Regional Centre (Newcastle, Lake Macquarie).




NSW – regional centre (Illawarra)




NSW – other




VIC – capital city




VIC – regional centre (Geelong)




VIC – other




QLD – capital city




QLD – regional centre (Gold Coast)




QLD – regional centre (Sunshine Coast)




QLD – other




WA – capital city




WA – other




SA – capital city




SA – other




TAS – capital city




TAS – other








Northern Territory




Jervis Bay Territory & Norfolk Island




Christmas Island & Cocos (Keeling) Island



The NHFIC has appointed 27 lenders as FHDLS guarantee-givers.

The National Australia Bank (NAB), and Commonwealth Bank of Australia(CBA) started offering scheme-backed loans on January 2020. While the 25 participating non major lenders offer guaranteed loans starting in February 2020,

Other than CBA and NAB, other lenders participating in the scheme include:

  • Australian Military Bank

  • Auswide Bank

  • Bank Australia

  • Bank First

  • Bank of Heritage Isle

  • Bank of Us

  • Bendigo Bank

  • Beyond Bank

  • Border Bank

  • Community First Credit Union

  • Credit Union Australia (CUA).

  • Defence Bank

  • Endeavour Mutual Bank

  • Firefighters Mutual Bank

  • Gateway Bank

  • G&C Mutual Bank

  • Health Professionals Bank

  • Indigenous Business Australia

  • Mortgageport

  • MyState Bank

  • People’s Choice Credit Union

  • Police Bank

  • P&N Bank

  • QBank

  • Queensland Country Bank

  • Regional Australia Bank

  • Sydney Mutual Bank

  • Teachers Mutual Bank

  • The Mutual Bank

  • UniBank

  • WAW

First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS)

The 2017-18 Budget introduced the First Home Super Saver program. This allows first-home buyers to take a portion from their super contributions and put it towards their first home deposit. A maximum withdrawal of $15,000 is allowed per financial year. The total limit for the entire amount is $30,000.

Who is eligible

To be eligible for FHSS, applicants need to meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum 18

  • Property must be new to you.

  • Not allowed to use FHSS for the purchase of any other property

  • Must not have requested FHSS funds previously for a purchase of a home

Also, applicants must purchase a property for residential purposes. They must live in the home for at least six month within the first 12 months. The cash cannot not be used for houseboats or motor homes as well as vacant land.

According to the Australia Taxation Office (ATO), property owners who had experienced financial hardship that resulted in the loss of ownership of a home may still be eligible to participate in the scheme, but subject to the department’s approval.

HomeBuilder Scheme

Last June, the federal government launched a coronavirus stimulant that provides $25,000 to Australians who want to build new homes or make major renovations. The measure was set to expire at year’s end, but it has been extended at a lower rate of 15%,000.

The cash grant can be added to FHOG programs in state or territory, stamp duty concessions, other support measures like the FHLDS/FHSS scheme, and existing FHOG program.

First-time buyers are eligible for the HomeBuilder grant to help them build their homes. However, this funding is only available for construction purposes and cannot be used to purchase the property.

Who is eligible

HomeBuilder grants are only available to applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • An owner-occupier (or prospective owner-occupier) is not an investor.

  • A person, not a trust or company

  • An Australian citizen

  • Minimum 18 years of age

  • Earning $125,000 annually or less if you are a single person, or $200,000 per year if you are married (based on the 2018/19 tax return or later).

What can the grant go towards?

The grant must be used as follows:

  • You can build a new home that is a primary residence and worth up to $750,000. This includes the land.

  • A substantial renovation of an existing home to be used as a main residence. Renovations must not exceed $150,000 or $750,000.

The government stated that renovations must improve accessibility, safety, livability, and safety of the home. This means that additions to the property such as granny flats and swimming pools, tennis courts and outdoor spas and saunas, detached sheds, garages, or landscaping cannot be included in the upgrades. However, mixed works such as renovations to the kitchen or bathroom are permitted.

The first installment must be paid by the applicant to start work in order to receive the grant. The HomeBuilder stimulus can be applied for through the state or territory revenue office. Officials will perform checks, and after they have verified that all criteria have been met, the cash will be transferred directly to the applicant’s bank account.