Grants and incentives available for home buyers

31 Aug 2020

There are a number of home buying incentives available that can help eligible parties purchase a new property – and you don’t have to be a first home buyer to take advantage.

The federal government has recently announced its HomeBuilder scheme designed to help counter the economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, that is open to all types of buyers, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. This home buying boost of up to $25,000, can be used on its own, or in conjunction with state government incentives that can help to significantly enhance your chances of purchasing a new home.

This is how.

Buying with HomeBuilder

The new HomeBuilder scheme will provide eligible applicants with a $25,000 grant to help build a new home or renovate an existing one.

If you are an Australian citizen aged 18 years and an owner-occupier building or renovation, you can apply for HomeBuilder if you meet the criteria:

  • Your annual income is less than $125,000 for individual applicants or $200,000 for couples
  • You’re spending more than $150,000 on building the home or on a renovation that improves the liveability, accessibility or safety of your home
  • Your new home is valued at less than $750,000 or the home you are renovating is not worth more than $1.5 million

All dwelling types, including house and land packages and off-the-plan purchases are eligible for the scheme. As is every type of buyer, from those looking for their first home to families looking to upsize through to empty nesters choosing to downsize.

“The scheme has been offered in addition to the current state and federal first-home buyer grants and exemptions,” Executive Manager of Economic Research Cameron Kusher said.

Off-the-plan duty concession

Buyers may be eligible for an off-the-plan duty concession, that can cover land and building packages, and property in residential towers and low-rise developments and refurbished lots.

If you qualify, duty will be paid on the value of the lot (where your home is located) only, for example, the market value of your unit minus construction costs.

Principal place of residence concession

All home buyers may also be eligible for a Principal place of residence (or PPR) concession.

This applies to Victorian owners whose property is valued up to $550,000 and will live in the home for a continuous 12 month period.

First home buyer grants, concessions and exemptions

Prospective buyers looking for their first home have access to a number of incentives to help them to begin their journey of property ownership. Some of these following incentives can be used in conjunction with those mentioned above, or instead of, for successful applicants.

The Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme was introduced in January this year. It has since been tweaked to take into account the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and give eligible buyers more time to apply.

Those building a home can also apply for grants or incentives.

The scheme allows successful applicants to purchase a home with as little as a five per cent deposit. The government guarantees the remaining 15 per cent, you would normally need to save. This can allow many first home buyers the opportunity to make a purchase much sooner than might otherwise be the case.

The scheme applies to both new and established homes. However, there is a limit on the value of the property of $600,000 in Melbourne and regional centres and $375,000 in the rest of Victoria.

To be eligible for the scheme, you need to be an Australian citizen 18 years or older (this is a criterion for most government incentives), an owner-occupier, with a salary threshold of $125,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples.

Victoria’s First Home Owner Grant offers $10,000 to eligible buyers when they buy or build their first new home: it can be a house, townhouse or unit. A $20,000 grant is available to approved homes in regional Victoria.

Buyers must not have owned a home previously and the home must be occupied as a principal residence for at least 12 months.

As a first home buyer, you may also be eligible for a stamp duty exemption or concession if your property is worth up to $750,000, whether it is new or established.

If you have a family buying your first home, you may qualify for a family duty exemption or concession.

If you’re a pensioner buying your first home, you may be eligible for a one-off stamp duty exemption or concession for a new or established home that will be your principal residence.


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