As a first home buyer in NSW, you may be eligible for a full exemption or reduced rate of transfer duty under the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme.
What is it?
If you are a first home buyer purchasing an existing property worth $800,000 or less, you can receive full exemption from transfer duty, or stamp duty as it is commonly known. If the property is worth between $800,000 and $1 million, you may be eligible for a reduced rate.
If you buy vacant land to build a house on that is worth $350,000 or less, you may be eligible for an exemption. If the land is worth between $350,000 and $450,000 you may be eligible for a reduced rate.
To get an idea, at Huntlee, duty on a housing package would be approximately $28,000 and a minimum of $10,000 for vacant land.
Use this handy Transfer Duty Calculator to help you work it out for your property.
Are you eligible for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme?
There are certain criteria you need to meet to be eligible for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme;
- You must be 18 years or over.
- You must be an individual, not a trust or company.
- The value of the property must be within the threshold amounts.
- You or at least one of your co-buyers must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.
- You are not eligible if you or your spouse have applied for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme previously.
- You are not eligible if you or your spouse have owned or co-owned a residential property in Australia previously.
- If your circumstances change so that you cannot meet the residence requirements, you will no longer be eligible for the government grant.
For contracts exchanged on or after 1 July 2023, you or your co-buyers must move into the property within 12 months of the settlement date and live there as your principal place of residence for at least 12 months.
For contracts exchanged between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2023, you or your co-buyers must move into the property within 12 months of the settlement date and live there as your principal place of residence for at least 6 months.
If you are a member of the Australian Defence Force when you exchange contracts, you won’t have to meet residence requirements providing all buyers are on the NSW electoral roll.
You can check out how much you can save using the First Home Buyers Assistance calculator.
Check the key definitions and eligibility criteria for more information. This includes possible exemptions to the above.
How to apply
You can lodge your application for the government grant with your solicitor or conveyancer. You will be asked to provide supporting documents and identification.
You can download the forms for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme from the NSW government website.