July 3, 2023

The latest update regarding support for first home buyer schemes is as follows:

Commencing on July 1, 2023, the New South Wales (NSW) Government has rolled out substantial enhancements to the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme (FHBAS).

Furthermore, the NSW Government has introduced significant updates to various first-home buyer schemes, including the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme (FHBAS) and related housing grants and schemes.

The primary objectives behind these changes are to bolster support for eligible first-home buyers and introduce new residency requirements. These adjustments aim to facilitate the entry of prospective homeowners into the property market, ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of these initiatives.

Changes to First Home Buyer Schemes

1. Expanded Transfer Duty Exemption Thresholds

The noteworthy changes in the first home buyer schemes revolve around the expansion of transfer duty exemption thresholds for new and existing home purchases within the FHBAS (First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme).

Eligible first-home buyers will now benefit from an increased exemption threshold, rising from $650,000 to $800,000. Furthermore, the concessional rate has been elevated from $800,000 to $1 million. This adjustment will offer greater financial relief for those looking to purchase their first homes.

2. Closure of First Home Buyer Choice (FHBC)

The NSW Government has made the decision to close off access to the First Home Buyer Choice (FHBC) scheme. However, purchasers who exchanged contracts on or before 30 June 2023 still have the opportunity to opt-in to FHBC until settlement.

From 1 July 2023 onwards, there will no longer be an option to choose between property tax and transfer duty on new purchases. Home buyers who have already opted into FHBC will continue to pay property tax for the duration of their property ownership, remaining exempt from transfer duty for that specific purchase.


3. Ineligibility for Transfer Duty Exemptions or Concessions

As part of the updated regulations, first-home buyers who purchase a property for $1 million or more on or after 1 July 2023 will be ineligible for transfer duty exemptions or concessions. Instead, they will be required to pay the standard transfer duty, reflecting the NSW Government’s effort to focus on assisting those entering the property market at lower price points.

4. Updated Residence Requirements

The residence requirement has also undergone modifications across various schemes, grants, and exemptions. Effective for contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2023, purchasers under the mentioned initiatives must move into their homes within 12 months of settlement and continuously reside in the property for a period of 12 months. This new condition ensures that these first home buyer schemes benefit those who genuinely intend to establish their primary residence in the purchased property.

This requirement applies to the following first home buyer schemes:

  • First Home Buyers Assistance scheme
  • First Home Owner grant
  • Deferral of transfer duty payment for off-the-plan transactions
  • Exemptions for tenants of the Department of Housing and Aboriginal Housing Office

If you think you’re eligible for a government grant, chat with the St Trinity team to find your perfect property, and we will help you on your property journey towards the purchase of your first home!

If you’re still unsure what you are eligible for, reach out to us below, and our team will be happy to discuss some of the eligibility criteria to assist you.

Find out more about all the government grants that are available for you here.


1. What are the first home buyer schemes that are available to first home buyers? 

As a first-time homebuyer, you could potentially qualify for several government home buying programs designed to make homeownership more accessible. These programs may include the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme, the Home Guarantee Scheme, and various stamp duty grants and concessions.

However, it’s essential to note that eligibility criteria for these programs can differ between states and territories, so it’s crucial to understand the specific requirements in your area before applying.

2. What are the eligibility requirements for first home buyer schemes? 

  • To be eligible for the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme, applicants must meet several criteria:
    • They must be over 18 years of age, with at least one applicant being an Australian citizen or permanent resident and no prior property ownership in Australia.
    • For new and established homes, the property value must not exceed $800,000 for a concessional rate on transfer duty or $650,000 for a full stamp duty exemption.
    • For vacant land, the land value should be below $450,000 for a concessional rate on transfer duty or under $350,000 for a full exemption.
    • Moreover, at least one of the first home buyers must move into the purchased property as their principal place of residence within 12 months and reside there continuously for six months.
    • Additional requirements can be found here.
  • To qualify for the First Home Owner Grant (New Home) in New South Wales, several conditions must be met:
    • The applicant must be at least 18 years old, and at least one applicant must hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency.
    • Additionally, none of the applicants should have previously owned property in Australia. T
    • The scheme in NSW is applicable to newly built or significantly renovated properties and vacant land with plans for construction.
    • For newly built or substantially renovated properties, the purchase price must not exceed $600,000.
    • For vacant land paired with a building contract, the combined value of the land and the home’s construction contract must not surpass $750,000.
    • Furthermore, at least one of the first home buyers must move into the property as their principal place of residence within 12 months of purchase and reside there continuously for six months to meet the scheme’s requirements.
    • Additional requirements can be found here.

3. Can you be eligible for multiple first home buyer schemes at once?

Yes, it’s possible to apply for and qualify for multiple first home buyer schemes concurrently, as long as you meet the specific requirements of each scheme.

However, it’s important to note that eligibility for all schemes may not be feasible due to factors such as property price caps. Our team at St. Trinity consists of experts in the realm of home loans, including first home buyer schemes and concessions. Book a free appointment with us today to gain confidence and clarity in your journey towards purchasing your first home.

4. Can I use my super for a house deposit? 

Absolutely, if you’re a first-time homebuyer and you’ve made additional contributions to your superannuation, there is a way that allows you to access your super funds to purchase a house or another form of residence. This program is known as the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme.

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