A state and territory guide to the ever-changing First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme. Find out how much you are entitled to.
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) has undergone changes over the years and varies a great deal from state to territory to state. Now aimed squarely at new house builds, the FHOG can be worth between $10,000 and $15,000 in most cases. Here’s a brief summary of what you might be entitled to – and links to each state and territory’s scheme so you can check out the small print.
What is the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)?
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) was introduced by the Federal government in 2000. Since then, 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. It generally changes to reflect housing affordability, and can change quickly and often.
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 or partner—can’t have owned property before.
- you can only receive the grant once
- you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (may vary by state or territory)
- 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 or territory)
- in almost every instance, the property must be either new or ‘substantially renovated’ (ie. much more than just a new kitchen).
Do concessions apply?
You'll need to check the rules for your state or territory, but you could be eligible for:
- discounts on stamp duty - some states and territories can waive or discount stamp duty up to some property price limits
- regional property concessions - you may be eligible for a larger grant if buying or building in regional areas, or even a larger discount on stamp duty
- the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
FHOG by state and territory
The Federal Government has a portal to the relevant FHOG page, opens in new window in each state and territory.
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
We know that the home loan process can be daunting. When the time comes, don’t feel like you have to do it on your own. Call us on 13 78 79, visit your local branch, make an appointment with a mobile banker or, if you’re ready, feel free to apply online. We have more handy tips for you in our first home buying guide.
How do I apply for FHOG?
To apply for the FHOG, you can:
- lodge the application yourself through your state or territory authority
- ask your home loan provider to lodge the application for you.
Get an estimate of what you could afford to borrow and compare different home buying scenarios.
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The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.