The First Home Owner Grant—the FHOG—was introduced by the Federal government in 2000. In the decade and half since, the rules around it have repeatedly changed.
While the FHOG is a national scheme, it’s funded by the states and territories—and administered by each of them individually. So each state or territory tweaks its own FHOG rules pretty much every year.
We’ll look at some general principles of FHOG—the intention behind it—and then look at the eligibility rules. We’ll then briefly summarise how the FHOG works in each state and territory.
What’s happening with the FHOG?
Introduced to offset the effect of GST on house ownership, the FHOG has evolved into an economic stimulus tool.
While once a grant for the first home buyer, every state and territory is targeting new builds, or in some cases, substantially renovated existing homes.
Who gets the FHOG?
Again, each state and territory has its own rules, but the following conditions generally apply:
- It’s only available to first home buyers. You—and your spouse/partner—can’t have owned property before.
- You can only receive the grant once.
- You must be an Australian citizen.
- You must be a ‘natural’ person. In other words, a real human, not a company or a trust.
- You must live in the house for at least six months once it’s built.
- Most states and territories have a minimum age requirement (usually 18).
- Maximum purchase price is between $575,000 and $750,000 (depending on state/territory).
- In almost every instance, the property must be either new or ‘substantially renovated’ (ie. much more than just a new kitchen).
How much is the FHOG?
The Federal Government has a portal to the relevant FHOG page in each state and territory.
Here’s a brief summary of what you might qualify for from 1 January 2016, where:
FHOG of $10,000 for new builds and substantially renovated houses only. Maximum value of $750,000.
FHOG of $10,000 for new builds. Maximum value of $750,000.
New build home buyers get $26,000. Maximum value of $600,000.
Queensland’s Great Start Grant of $15,000 is for new builds only. Max value of $750,000.
FHOG of $15,000 for new build houses only. Maximum value of $575,000.
FHOG of $10,000. New builds only; max value of $750,000.
FHOG of $10,000. New builds only.
FHOG of $10,000. New builds or substantially renovated homes.
When will the grant be paid?
Once again, each state and territory has its own rules so you’ll need to check out the sites above. But generally the grant's paid out under these conditions:
- Established home: Payment will be made on settlement
- Contract to build: Grant paid to the builder with the first progress payment
- Owner builder: Payment on receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy
- New home: Payment at settlement
- Purchase off the plan: Payment at settlement