What’s on hand to help you into home ownership in Australia? For starters …
First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)
This is a one-off government payment designed to encourage and assist first home buyers to purchase a property. The size of the grant and the eligibility criteria attached to it differ in each state and territory, but in most places, it applies to first timers who are either purchasing an existing home that has never been lived in or building a brand-new home. Some Australian states and territories offer eligible first-time homeowners concessions or exemptions, which may further help reduce costs.
First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS)
Under this Scheme, the Australian Government partially guarantees some low-deposit home loans each year for eligible low- and middle-income earners who have saved up a deposit of at least five per cent of a property’s value. This can help borrowers avoid the cost of Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI). The scheme covers eligible first home buyers looking for a new or existing home and may potentially be used in conjunction with other state and territory grants. This year, there has been a $100,000 increase to the Scheme’s property price cap in major cities as well as variable rises in regional areas.
Federal Government Family Home Guarantee
Announced in the 2021 federal budget, the program plans to assist up to 10,000 single parents over four years. For successful applicants, it involves the government going guarantor for loans with a deposit as low as two per cent of the purchase price. The Family Home Guarantee aims to support eligible single parents with at least one dependent child in purchasing a family home, regardless of whether that single parent is a first home buyer or a previous homeowner. Home buyers may also access other government programs, grants and concessions, be they national, state of territory, if eligible.
New Home Guarantee
The New Home Guarantee is an Australian Government initiative to help first home buyers purchase their first home sooner. Announced in October last year, it entitled 10,000 eligible first home buyers to have the government guarantee their loan on a deposit as low as five per cent if they build a new home. The program has been extended with additional 10,000 places available from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
As a first-time home buyer, the best thing you can do to help yourself is get educated about all available assistance. Things are changing all the time, with new incentives and concessions being offered. You can do your own research, and there are finance and real estate experts waiting to assist you too.