New Home Grant Scheme

From 1 July 2012, a new $5 000 grant will be provided to buyers of new homes, whether off the plan or newly built, with a value up to $650 000 and to buyers of vacant land that is intended to be the site of a new home valued up to $450 000

The grant is targeted at all non-first home buyers and is available to investors as well as owner occupiers. The grant will be administered through the transfer duty payment process.

The relevant form and factsheet will be made available prior to the commencement of the grant.

First Home Owner Grant

If you’re a first home buyer and you’re buying or building a new home, you may qualify for a $10,000 grant under the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme if you purchase date was on or after 1 January 2016.

You can make a claim for the First Home Owner Grant if your:

  • newly constructed home or a substantially renovated home has a total value less than $600,000

  • land for building and any dwelling you intend to build has a combined value less than $750,000.

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First Home – First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme

From 1 July 2017:

  • If your home is valued at less than $650,000, you can apply for a full exemption so that you don’t have to pay transfer duty.

  • If the value of your home is between $650,000 and $800,000, you can apply for a concessional rate of transfer duty. The amount you’ll have to pay will be based on the value of your home.

The FHBAS applies to vacant land on which you plan to build your home.

  • You won’t pay any transfer duty if your land is valued at less than $350,000.

  • For land valued between $350,000 and $450,000, you’ll receive a concessional rate.

Who’s eligible for the FHBAS?

To qualify for the FHBAS

  • the contract date must be on or after 1 July 2017 and must be for the whole property

  • you must be an individual, not a company or trust

  • you must be over 18

  • you, and your spouse or partner, must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia

  • you, and your spouse or partner, must never have received an exemption or concession under this scheme

  • at least one of the first home buyers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Requirements for living in the property

You or one of the other first home buyers must

  • move into the new home within 12 months after buying the property and

  • live there for at least six continuous months.

If you’re a member of the Australian Defence Force when buying your first home and you and everyone you’re buying with is on the NSW electoral roll, you won’t have to meet these living requirements.

Off The Plan Purchases

Buying off-the-plan is when you enter into a contract or transfer to buy residential property, where the home is to be erected or developed before the contract or transfer is completed.

A contract for the sale of vacant land is not eligible for off-the-plan benefits.

If you buy a home off-the-plan, which you intend to use as your main residence, you can defer your transfer duty for up to 12 months after you sign the agreement, or until the property is completed or handed over, whichever comes first.

How to apply

Make your request by completing the mandatory purchaser/transferee declaration PDF, 184.94 KB (for an individual PDF, 286.08 KB or for a trust or company PDF, 287.38 KB).

Who's eligible

From July 2016, all purchasers and transferees must be non-foreign, meaning you're:

  • an Australian citizen

  • a New Zealand citizen, holding a subclass 444 visa or

  • a permanent resident, who has lived in Australia for more than 200 days in the last 12 months.

From July 2017, investors aren't eligible.

Requirements for living in the property

At least one purchaser or transferee must occupy the property as their main residence.

The person occupying the property must live in the property for six months continuously, starting within 12 months from becoming the owner.

By completing the purchaser/transferee declaration, you're confirming you'll meet the requirements as outlined in the explanatory notes to the declaration PDF, 184.94 KB.

Changes in living arrangements

If you don't meet the above residence requirement, you must pay duty. You must also pay interest after three months from the date of the contract, and penalty tax may apply.

Surcharge Purchaser Duty

If you’re classified as a foreign person, you must pay an 8 per cent surcharge on the value of any residential land you buy.

This is known as surcharge purchaser duty and it is payable in addition to any transfer duty.

You may also have to pay surcharge purchaser duty on other types of transactions, such as when you declare a trust or transfer a lease.

Foreign corporations and trusts may also have to pay the surcharge.

Calculate your surcharge purchase duty

Surcharge duty calculator

Foreign person

You’re generally considered a foreign person unless you’re an Australian citizen or you’ve lived in Australia for more than 200 days in the 12 months prior to the purchase date and are

  • a New Zealand Citizen holding a subclass 444 visa or

  • a permanent resident of Australia.

Declaring your status

When you buy residential property you must complete a purchaser / transferee declaration and provide supporting documents so we can determine whether you need to pay surcharge purchaser duty.

If there are multiple purchasers / transferees , then each purchaser / transferee  needs to complete a declaration.

In addition to the declaration other supporting outlined in the explanatory notes, evidence must be provided upon request

* Picture courtesy of Soata Architects