As parents, we want the best for our children, particularly when they’re making a major purchase. When it comes to buying their first home, knowing what government assistance is available can make all the difference. Read on to learn about the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) in each state and territory.
Watching your children buy their first home can be exciting – and overwhelming. You see them working hard to save that all-important deposit, looking at properties, and counting down the days until they can move into their own place.
However, your kids’ ‘great Australian dream’ could actually happen sooner than you (and they) think. Thanks to government efforts to accelerate home ownership and boost the home building industry, first home buyers are now eligible for grants and subsidies.
Each state and territory provides some sort of financial assistance to first home buyers. Here’s a basic overview of what’s on offer at the moment. Please keep in mind that this information can change.
New South WalesIn NSW, first home buyers are entitled to a one-off range of grants, exemptions and concessions when buying or building a new home.
The First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme provides $10,000 to eligible first home buyers to help buy or build a new home. The value of the new home purchased must not be greater than $750,000. At least one of the home owners will need to live in the property for a continuous period of at least 6 months.
Through the First Home - New Home scheme, first home buyers are exempt from stamp duty (also known as transfer duty) on new homes up to $550,000, and on vacant land up to $350,000. They will receive stamp duty concessions on new homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000, and on vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.
The rise of new apartment developments in our cities provides greater opportunities for potential home owners to buy off the plan. There are benefits to this, but also a number of things to be mindful of. We look at some of the things to consider when buying off the plan.
A major benefit of purchasing off the plan is that you’ll own a brand new property. There are also financial benefits. For example, you’ll have the security of knowing how much you’ll pay for the property in the future, even if its value increases. Construction usually takes a year or two, so there’s time to save before you settle.
If you need to borrow money for the deposit, speak to your broker about how to best structure the purchase. Most home loan lenders won't approve a loan for a long settlement period, but a broker can provide advice about what assurances you can get regarding the amount you may be able to borrow when it comes time to settle.
Depending on which state or territory you’re in, you may have access to stamp duty and tax concessions, or government grants. If you’re purchasing the property as an investment you may also be eligible for tax benefits. You should consult with your accountant for personal financial advice specific to your circumstances.
The year started with some turbulent economic activity in the local and international spheres, including a falling Australian dollar, local share market falls and the slowing of the Chinese economy. We run through the economic situation of early 2016.
The first 16 trading days of the year until 26 January saw the All Ordinaries Index fall by 5.4%, concerning both investors and consumers. This reflects some of the issues in the commodities market, where export prices for iron ore, coal, wheat and oil have continued to slump. Commodities account for over 50% of the country’s foreign earnings, compounding the impact on the share market and our foreign balance of trade.
On the positive side, consumers are enjoying lower petrol costs, but for those who rely on their superannuation this year looks less rosy. The drop in the share market will contribute to declining growth rates in superannuation funds, a trend that has been ongoing for the past three years, and one that is likely to be seen for the remainder of the year.
Exports will find some relief in the lower Australian dollar, which has devalued against the US dollar by over 2.8% during the month of January. This is also good news for education and tourism, as more foreign students and visitors flock to Australia. Those planning overseas travel will feel an extra pinch in their hip pocket.