First home owner grant

First home buyers may be able to receive a grant towards the purchase of a new home.

The first home owner grant is a one-off payment to encourage and assist first home buyers to buy or build a residential property for use as their principal place of residence.

If you are a first home owner, you may qualify for the grant if you are purchasing or building a new home. A home that has been substantially renovated may be considered a new home. The grant is not available for the purchase of an established home or for renovations to an existing home.

The grant is $10,000 or the consideration paid to buy or build the house if less than that amount. Only one grant is payable per eligible transaction, so two people purchasing a house together may only receive one grant.

If you receive the grant, or would be eligible except that you are purchasing an established home, you may also be eligible for the concessional first home owner rate of duty.

For more information see the FHOG Guide.

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Eligibility requirements

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To be eligible for the grant and/or first home owner rate of duty, you must satisfy specific criteria.

The grant is not means-tested so your income will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

You must be 18 years or over at the time of making application. If you're under 18, you may be able to apply for an exemption from the age requirement.

At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of making application.

Applicants and/or their spouses or de facto partners cannot have

  • previously received the grant or first home owner rate of duty from any jurisdiction in Australia
  • owned residential property anywhere in Australia before 1 July 2000
  • owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence before 1 July 2004
  • owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months that began on or after 1 July 2004.

You must occupy the home as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months commencing within 12 months of settlement if purchasing a home, or within 12 months from the date of completion if building a home.

You must hold a relevant interest (ownership) in the land on which the home is situated and must own the home in your own capacity. A relevant interest may include a right of occupancy.

If you own the home as a trustee, it must be held on trust for a person with a legal disability.

Contact Landgate if you are unsure about whether you have previously owned property.

Boost payment

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A $5,000 boost payment may be available to eligible first home buyers who entered into a contract between 1 January and 30 June 2017.

You must be eligible for the grant and

  • the contract for construction or purchase of an eligible new home must be made between 1 January and 30 June 2017
  • construction must have commenced within 26 weeks after the date of the contract and be completed within 18 months of commencing construction
  • for owner builders - construction must commence between 1 January and 30 June 2017, and be completed by 30 June 2019
  • for a contract to buy an ‘off the plan’ home - the contract must have been entered into between 1 January and 30 June 2017, and be completed by 30 June 2019.

Apply for the boost payment.

Apply to extend the expected commencement or completion date.

Eligible transactions

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The type of transaction determines your eligibility for the grant.

You must apply for the grant within 12 months of the completion date.

Purchase of a new home

This is an eligible transaction if the contract was entered into on or after 1 July 2000.

The commencement date is the date the contract is made.

The completion date is the date the purchaser becomes entitled to possession of the home, usually the date of settlement.

Comprehensive home building contract

This is an eligible transaction if the contract was entered into on or after 1 July 2000.

The commencement date is the date the contract is made.

The completion date is the date the building is ready for occupation as a place of residence, usually when the builder hands over the keys to the owner.

Owner-builder

This is an eligible transaction if building work on the home began on or after 1 July 2000.

The commencement date is the date building commences, that is, when the foundation is laid.

The completion date is the date the building is ready for occupation as a place of residence.

Value of the home

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The value of your transaction may affect your eligibility for the grant.

The cap on the total value of the home and land varies depending on where the home is located.

  • South of the 26th parallel – value of land and building is up to $750,000.
  • North of the 26th parallel – value of land and building is up to $1,000,000.

All Perth metropolitan areas are south of the 26th parallel.

The total value of a transaction can be determined by applying the following

  • Established, new home or off the plan – the greater of the consideration for the contract to purchase or the unencumbered value.
  • Contract to build – the total of the consideration for the contract to build and the unencumbered value of the land.
  • Owner builder – the unencumbered value of the home (i.e. total value of the home and land) at the date the transaction is completed.

Residence requirements

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You must start living in your home within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction.

Once you have moved in and started living in your home, you must live in the home as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months.

As long as you meet the residence requirements, it doesn't matter if you have a boarder or housemate, or if you run a business from home.

If you are buying the home as trustee for a person with a legal disability, that person must meet the eligibility criteria and the residence requirements.

If your circumstances change after you've entered into a contract and you can't meet the residence requirements, contact us to discuss your circumstances and the following three options.

Voluntarily repay the grant

If you voluntarily repay the grant and pay the transfer duty, you'll be able to apply for the grant when you purchase or build a home in the future.

Contact us if you want to repay the grant but haven't received an assessment notice.

See more information about payment arrangements.

See details about how to make repayments.

Apply for a reduction of the residency requirement

If you can't meet the residence requirements, advise us in writing within 30 days after the 12 month residence period expires or the date it becomes apparent you won't be able to fulfil the residence requirement, whichever is the earlier.

You can apply to reduce the 6 month residence period or extend the 12 month take-up period. See Commissioner's Practice FHOG/DA 39 ‘Variations to Prescribed Residence Requirements’.

We'll let you know if you need to repay the grant.

If you don't advise us in writing and an investigation reveals that you didn't meet the residence requirements, you'll need to repay the grant and duty (if applicable) together with a penalty of up to 100% of the grant. You won't be eligible for a future grant or to a first home owner rate of duty in Western Australia.

Apply for an exemption from the residence requirement

If there are two or more applicants for the grant and/or first home owner rate of duty, we may exempt an applicant if we believe there are good reasons to do so and at least one of the applicants complies with the residence requirement. If an exemption is granted, the applicant that is exempted won't be eligible for a grant and/or first home owner rate of duty in the future.

Page reviewed 18 October 2019