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(NB These ben­e­fits were cur­rent as of Novem­ber 2021).

If you or some­one you know is look­ing to enter the prop­er­ty mar­ket for the first time, there are cur­rent­ly two ben­e­fits avail­able to eli­gi­ble first home buy­ers in New South Wales.

The First Home Owner Grant & the First Home Buyer’s Assistance Scheme (FHBAS)

These two ben­e­fits are applic­a­ble for those pur­chas­ing or build­ing a new home or look­ing for assis­tance in pur­chas­ing an exist­ing home.

For the pur­pose of this leg­is­la­tion, a ‘New Home’ is defined as a home that has not been pre­vi­ous­ly occu­pied or sold as a place of res­i­dence. It also includes a home that has been sub­stan­tial­ly ren­o­vat­ed.

Sub­stan­tial ren­o­va­tions are defined as ren­o­va­tions in which all, or sub­stan­tial­ly all, of a build­ing is removed or replaced. So think; removal or replace­ment of foun­da­tions, exter­nal walls, floors, roof or stair­cas­es. Ren­o­va­tions of part of a house, for exam­ple updat­ing a kitchen or bath­rooms, don’t con­sti­tute as sub­stan­tial ren­o­va­tions for the pur­pos­es of eli­gi­bil­i­ty for the Grant.

If a home has been built to replace a demol­ished premise — this may also be eli­gi­ble or a grant.


So exactly what is available and to whom?


Fund­ed by the NSW Gov­ern­ment and admin­is­tered by Rev­enue NSW (for­mer­ly known as the Office of State Rev­enue), a $10,000 grant is avail­able when you buy or build your first new home.

Your first new home can be a house, town­house, apart­ment, unit or sim­i­lar that is new­ly built, pur­chased off the plan or sub­stan­tial­ly ren­o­vat­ed.



If you pur­chase a new­ly built house, town­house, apart­ment, unit or sim­i­lar the pur­chase price must not exceed $600,000.



If you pur­chase vacant land then Rev­enue NSW cal­cu­late the val­ue of the vacant land plus the val­ue of the build­ing con­tract plus the cost of any build­ing vari­a­tions done togeth­er. The total com­bined cost must not exceed $750,000.


Sub­stan­tial Ren­o­va­tions

If you pur­chase a home that was sub­stan­tial­ly ren­o­vat­ed by the sell­er, the pur­chase price must not exceed $600,000. Eli­gi­bil­i­ty con­di­tions apply. Please check here to see if you are eli­gi­ble.



If you are look­ing to qual­i­fy for the First Home Own­er Grant (New Homes) you must adhere to the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria:

  • Be a per­son — not a com­pa­ny or trust
  • Be a per­ma­nent res­i­dent or an Aus­tralia Cit­i­zen — unless you are a per­ma­nent mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Defence Force.
  • Be at least eigh­teen years of age.
  • You as an appli­cant or your spouse or de fac­to part­ner can have pre­vi­ous­ly owned a res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty joint­ly, sep­a­rate­ly or with some oth­er per­son in Aus­tralia and lived in it for more than 6 months.
  • You or your spouse / de fac­to can­not have received the grant before.
  • You or one of the appli­cants then need to occu­py the home as your prin­ci­pal place of res­i­dence for a con­tin­u­ous peri­od of six months, com­menc­ing with­in twelve months from the date you are reg­is­tered on the title of the prop­er­ty. Unless, of course, if you are build­ing a new home — then that time peri­od starts from the con­struc­tion com­ple­tion date.


In addi­tion to meet­ing the above, you will also be required to pro­vide sev­er­al proof of iden­ti­ty doc­u­ments such as your Birth Cer­tifi­cate, Dri­vers Licence, and Medicare Card.

If you were born over­seas, you are required to pro­vide a cer­ti­fied copy of your for­eign pass­port and cur­rent Aus­tralian Visa or Cit­i­zen­ship Cer­tifi­cate.


How to Apply



If you’re a first home buy­er, you may be enti­tled to a con­ces­sion­al rate of trans­fer duty or even an exemp­tion from pay­ing it all togeth­er under the First Home Buy­ers Assis­tance scheme (FHBAS).

Unlike the First Home Own­er Grant, the FHBAS applies to

  • buy­ing an exist­ing home
  • buy­ing a new home and
  • vacant land on which you intend to build a home.


The transfer (stamp) duty thresholds from 1 August 2021

New Homes:

  • val­ued less than $650,000 will be eli­gi­ble for a trans­fer duty exemp­tion
  • val­ued between $650,000 and $800,000 will be eli­gi­ble for a con­ces­sion­al rate of duty, based on the val­ue of your home

Vacant Land:

  • val­ued less than $350,000 will be eli­gi­ble for a trans­fer duty exemp­tion
  • val­ued between $350,000 and $450,000 will be eli­gi­ble for a con­ces­sion­al rate of duty, based on the val­ue of your home

Exist­ing Homes:

  • val­ued less than $650,000 will be eli­gi­ble for a trans­fer duty exemp­tion
  • val­ued between %650,000 and $800,000 wil be eli­gi­ble for a con­ces­sion­al rate of duty, based on the val­ue of your home


Who‘s Eligible?

To qual­i­fy for the FHBAS

  • the con­tract date must be on or after 1 July 2017 and must be for the whole prop­er­ty
    Note: To be eli­gi­ble for the increased trans­fer (stamp) duty thresh­old avail­able between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021, the con­tract must be dat­ed on or after 1 August 2020 and on or before 31 July 2021.
  • you must be an indi­vid­ual, not a com­pa­ny or trust
  • you must be over 18
  • you, and your spouse or part­ner, must nev­er have owned or co-owned res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty in Aus­tralia
  • you, and your spouse or part­ner, must nev­er have received an exemp­tion or con­ces­sion under this scheme
  • at least one of the first home buy­ers must be an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen or per­ma­nent res­i­dent.


Buying with others who aren’t eligible

The FHABS applies when 50% or more of buy­ers are eli­gi­ble.

  • If you’re buy­ing a home with oth­ers who aren’t eli­gi­ble, you can still apply for the scheme if you and any oth­er eli­gi­ble buy­ers are pur­chas­ing at least half of the prop­er­ty. This is called a shared equi­ty arrange­ment.
  • Shared equi­ty doesn’t apply if your spouse is one of the inel­i­gi­ble buy­ers.


How Much Will You Pay?

Use the FHBAS Cal­cu­la­tor for all pur­chas­es made after 1 July, 2017.


How to apply for First Home Assistance

After you’ve exchanged con­tracts with the pre­vi­ous own­er you can apply for either of the FHBAS by down­load­ing and com­plet­ing the:

  1. First Home Buy­ers Assis­tance scheme appli­ca­tion form and
  2. Purchaser/Transferee Dec­la­ra­tion form (indi­vid­ual)
    Note: New inter­ac­tive form with dec­la­ra­tion tick box­es in place of a statu­to­ry dec­la­ra­tion.

You need to lodge your appli­ca­tion forms and sup­port­ing doc­u­ments with your solic­i­tor or con­veyancer.



For Further Information Please Contact

Tahleia Prussing

Position: Conveyancer

Direct Phone: 02 6583 0416

Email: tprussing@dohlaw.com.au

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