The First Home Owner Grant Scheme provides a benefit to first home buyers and builders of their first home by providing an exemption from duties and by providing a grant. In total, the scheme can provide total benefits of up to $27,990 (by a combination of tax exemptions up to $17,990 and grants of up to $10,000). However, recently the Australian Government, as part of its phasing out of the ‘Boost Scheme,’ has made substantial changes to the First Home Owner Grant Scheme. The applicable schemes now include:
First Home Owner Grant Scheme
The First Home Owner Grant Scheme is a NSW Government scheme which assists first home buyers by providing a $7000 grant. This grant is restricted to applications with a purchase price of the property up to $750,000. The commencement date of the eligible transaction must also be on or after 1 January 2010. Applicants who purchase or build a home which has a total value of more than $750,000 will not be eligible for the grant.
To be eligible:
- Each applicant must be a natural person and not a company or trust
- At least one applicant must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen
- Each applicant must be at least 18 years of age
- All applicants and their spouse/de facto must not have owned a residential property, jointly, separately or with some other person, in any State of Territory of Australia before July 2000
- All applicants and their spouse/de facto have not previously owned a residential property jointly, separately or with some other person in any State or Territory of Australian and occupied that property for longer than 6 months
- Each applicant must have entered into a contract for the purchase of a home or signed a contract to build a home on or after 1 July 2000 (or laying the foundations must have commenced on or after 1 July 2000)
- It must be the first time the applicant or their spouse/de fact will receive a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000
- At least one owner must occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of six months, commencing within 12 months of settlement or construction of the home (an exemption is available for Defence Force Personnel)
NSW First Home Buyers Supplement
The First Home Buyer’s Supplement provides an additional $3000 supplement in addition to the $7000 First Home Owner Grant (see above) for first home purchasers/builders. This is available until 30 June 2010.
To be eligible you must:
- Be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant Scheme
- Be buying/building a home between 11 November 2008 and 30 June 2010
NSW First Home Plus Scheme
The First Home Plus Scheme provides exemptions or concessions on transfer duty for eligible first home buyers and includes land on which you intend to build your first home. Eligible first home buyers do not pay duty on homes priced up to $500,000 and vacant land up to $300,000. Concessions on duty are available on a sliding scale for homes priced between $500,000 and $600,000 and for vacant land priced between $300,000 and $450,000.
Housing Construction Acceleration Plan
The NSW government is offering a 50% reduction in stamp duty for newly built homes up to $600,000, resulting in a saving of up to $11,245 until 30 June 2010.
*This does not purport to be a fully conclusive description of the conveyancing process, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice. You will need to communicate with Mr. Strang or another conveyancing solicitor in order to discuss each of the above steps and any additional matters that may arise in the conveyancing process.