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The Explanation of First Home Buyers Subsidies and State Governments Policies in Australia 2015

June 22, 2015

For first home buyers in Australia, every state policy is different from others. From January 1st, 2015, first home buyers’ subsidies in the northern region and Tasmania will have much change.

For further details, please see as follows:

Capital territory (ACT)

First home buyers can get $12,500 subsidy. This is only applicable to no more than $750,000 worth of “new” or “major renovation” property.

The definition is as follows:

  • A property which has never been used as residential or sold before; a property experienced major renovation, and then has not been used as residential or sold; a property is bought as “off-the-plan”.
  • Purchasing of existing properties cannot enjoy subsidies.
  • First home buyers subsidy policy stipulates that buyers should live in the property within 12 months after settlement.
  • Buyers need to apply for the subsidy within one year after purchase date or having the residence certificate. For those who build his property by himself can submit an application only after the completion of his property. Subsidies are usually distributed within 10 days after receiving the application.
  • Those who meet the first home buyer subsidy conditions can also delay stamp duty.

New South Wales (NSW)

  • First home buyers can get a $15,000. From January 1st 2016, the amount will be reduced to $10,000.
  • The subsidy is only applicable to first home buyers or those who build properties by themselves. Property values must be $750,000 or below.

Eligible property is as follows:

  • Never be lived with people; never sold as residential properties; experienced a major renovation, or new homes instead of the demolition of the old ones.
  • Purchase of existing housing cannot enjoy subsidies.
  • Subsidies condition rules stipulate that buyers need to move into the property within 12 months after purchase for living continuously 6 months. Served in Australia Army and registered voters in NSW, the living period can be shortened.
  • Stamp duty can be exempt if property price is no more than $550000; stamp duty can be reduced if property price is between $550,000 and $750,000.
  • Stamp duty can be exempt if purchasing a vacant land for no more than $350,000; value stamp duty can be reduced if purchasing price is between $350,000 and $450,000.
  • To qualify for first home buyer subsidies, you must do not own properties before in July 1st, 2000 in Australia.

Northern region (NT)

  • First home buyers can get up to $26,000 at the most. From January 1st 2015, housing subsidies is only applicable for the first home buyers or those who build homes by themselves.
  • The definition of new properties is never lived with people or for sale. In order to avoid the abnormal situations, however, in some circumstances, the properties which were sold before but never lived with people can be regarded as new houses.
  • Since December 4th 2012, the stamp duty reduction for first home buyers has been cancelled.

Queensland (QLD)

  • First home buyers can get $15,000 subsidy. However, buyers purchasing the existing properties cannot enjoy subsidies. This started from September 12th 2012.
  • If you own any property before July 1st 2000, even for investment, you are not eligible for first home buyers subsidy.
  • If you bought a property for investment after July 1st 2000, but you don’t live in this property, perhaps you are eligible. You need to provide tax rebates for details, leasing contract, and the current electricity and telephone account.
  • Application will be processed within 10 days after submitting. Buyers should move into the property within 12 months, and continuously live in there for 6 months.

South Australia (SA)

  • Only purchasers who purchase new homes after June 30th 2014 can enjoy this subsidy. Purchase price should not be more than $575,000.
  • Buying a new home, since January 1st, 2014, subsidy is $15000.
  • If you own any property before July 1st 2000, even if it is for investment, you are not eligible for first home buyers’ subsidy. If you bought a property for investment after July 1st 2000, but you don’t live in this property, perhaps you are eligible. You need to provide tax rebates for details, rental contract, and the current electricity and telephone account.
  • Buyers should move into the property within 12 months after settlement, and continuously live in there for 6 months.
  • Buying a new apartment or renovated apartment in the form of”off-the-plan”, purchasers can enjoy the stamp duty free or reduced. From May 31st 2012 to June 30th 2014, stamp duty is free, but the maximum price is $500,000 apartment of the stamp duty payable, namely $21330. From July 1st 2014 to June 30th 2016, part of stamp duty is exempt.

Tasmania (TAS)

  • From January 1st 2015 to June 30th, the promote subsidy for new buildings reduced to a $20,000, July 1st further reduced to a $10,000.
  • To have the qualification for subsidy, you should not own a property after July 1st 2000 and live in this property for six months, and before this date never owned a property.
  • Subsidised buyers should move into the property within 12 months after the distribution of property ownership certificate, and continuously living for 6 months.

Victoria (VIC)

  • Only purchasers who purchase new homes are able to enjoy subsidies. Since July 1st 2013, subsidy is $10,000.
  • This is only applicable to the purchase price is no more than $750,000. But properties which are located on agricultural land are not subject to this restriction.
  • Subsidised buyers should move into the property within 12 months after settlement, and continuously living for 12 months.
  • Stamp duty reduction is very considerable. Stamp duty originally on July 1st 2011 decreased by 20%, and then again in January 1st 2013 decreased by 10%, on July 1st 2013 and September 1st 2014 has decreased by 10% respectively.

Western Australia (WA)

  • Since September 2013, buying or building a new home for the first time can get $10,000 subsidy. Old house buyers can get $3,000 subsidy.
  • Starting from 2010, upper limit has been made, property price must not exceed $750,000, and if living in 26 degrees north in the south of the equator the upper limit is $1 million.
  • If you own a main residence property after July 1st 2004, no matter how long have you lived in, or before that date you owned a main residence property, and lived in for more than 6 months, then you are not eligible for subsidies.
  • Buyers should move into the property within 12 months after settlement, and continuously living for 12 months.
  • Western Australia also provides another kind of subsidy, known as the “Buyers funded account” (Home Buyers Assistance Account), which can provide $2,000 subsidy for first home buyers. This amount is from the interest of real estate agency trust account.
  • In addition, there are other subsidies, such as legal fee, valuation fee, you can only use these subsidies when your purchase price is $400,000 or below. The properties you buy must be existed ones or nearly completed, and you must live in within 12 months. You have to buy a property from a licensed real estate agency, and apply for home loans from lending institution. The property you buy should be the first one in Australia.
  • First home buyers can also get a discount of stamp duty. To enjoy the discount, the price of an existing property cannot exceed $530,000. If the price is under $430,000, you do not need to pay any stamp duty. The part above the line, each $100 of stamp duty needs to pay $19.19. For vacant land, you must first fully pay the stamp duty, and then get the refund after settlement. The price of vacant land should not exceed $400,000.