Buying your first home is a big deal, and it’s become progressively harder in recent years to save the deposit needed to get that first step on the property ladder.

The average Aussie home has increased in price by nearly 80% in the last 10 years according to analysis from Statista,  with the average price sitting at $912k in June this year, up from $512k a decade earlier.

Given that in most cases you need to stump up 20% of the house price to avoid Lenders Mortgage insurance (LMI), that’s a rise of over $80k in the size of average deposit needed to buy that first piece of real estate.

The good news is that help is at hand, with numerous government schemes available for first home buyers to get on the housing ladder in Australia. Let’s have a look at what’s on offer.

First Home Buyer’s Guarantee Scheme

The Federal Government’s First Home Buyer’s Guarantee (FHBG) scheme is an initiative to help eligible home buyers to buy a home sooner.

Under the FHBG, eligible home buyers can get part of their home loan guaranteed by Housing Australia (on behalf of the Government). This home loan guarantee acts as a sizeable chunk of your potential deposit, which can be up to 15% of the value of the property.

Why this scheme is so beneficial is that it enables participants to buy a home with as little as 5% deposit – given the scheme will potentially guarantee the other 15% – without paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

That can leave you quids in, as LMI for someone buying a $900k house can be well over $20k (unless you have a cool 20% deposit).

With the FHBG you potentially wouldn’t need to have such a large deposit (although still a minimum of 5%) as the Government would guarantee the rest!

Sounds too good to be true? Well, there are a few conditions.

There are only 35,000 places available each financial year for the First Home Buyer’s Guarantee, with the current period running from 1st July 2023 to 30th June 2024.

You also need to be an Australian Citizen or (from 1st July this year) a permanent resident who hasn’t bought a home in Australian in the last 10 years – and intend to be an owner-occupier to qualify.

Finally, your home loan also needs to be with a “Participating Lender” – you can check out the full list of those here .

State based concessions

As well as the Federal Government scheme above, there are also a range of state-based concession available to first home buyers, to help ease the burden of taxes like stamp duty.

These vary from state to state, but we’ll use our home state of Victoria as an example.

The Victorian Government introduced their First Home Buyer Duty Reduction scheme in 2017, and this allows eligible first home buyers in the state to receive a reduction of up to 50% on the stamp duty you would normally pay on your purchase.

The stamp duty due on the average property in Victoria can be well over $20k, given the median property price in the state is now $780,000. Therefore a 50% discount on this is well worth applying for!

You can check out how much you could save via our stamp duty calculator here

As you would expect, there are certain criteria you need to fulfil before being eligible for the Victorian scheme. Here’s is what you need to know:

  • Your new property must be your ‘principle place of residence”
  • The purchase price of your new home is less than $750,000 (there is a complete stamp duty exemption in Victoria for purchases of less than $600,00).
  • You must be a first home buyer in Australia, and at least one applicant must be either an Australian Citizen or permanent resident.

In addition, it’s worth knowing that the Victorian government also offer First Home Buyer Grants of up to $10k as well as the stamp duty exemption, with the eligibility criteria the same as above.

And the even better news is that you can apply for the state-based grant AND the Federal Government’s First Home Buyer Guarantee at the same time!

As far as the concessions in the other states, they vary significantly but more information can be found here:

New South Wales: https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/grants-schemes/first-home-buyer/assistance-scheme

Queensland:  https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/financial-help-concessions/transfer-duty-concessions-exemptions

South Australia: https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/stampduty/first-home-buyer-relief

Third party help

As you can tell from the detailed information above, there is quite a lot on offer if you know where to look, but getting your head around it all can be challenging!

Which is why it often pays to get third party assistance from a property market expert such as a mortgage broker.

For instance, if you’ve missed the boat on applying for the First Home Buyer’s Guarantee this year, it may be prudent to get prepared for when the scheme ticks over to the new financial year in July 2024. A mortgage broker can help you get your paperwork in order, so you are in the best position to capitalise when this window opens again.

They will also know about recent changes to the above schemes, such as Queensland recently upping their first homeowner grant to $30k for example.

A reputable broker will be able to review your circumstances and advise what grants, concessions and schemes you are eligible, all in one convenient place.

Buying your first home in Australia is challenging given how prices have rocketed in the last decade. Getting the best deal for you and your family via the various schemes available is becoming essential, and using a third-party expert to help you navigate this makes a lot of sense.

Once you know what you are eligible for, owning that first piece of real estate could be a lot closer than you think..

Loanscope have helped hundreds of first home buyers get on the property ladder, and are experts at identifying what Government schemes may be available and relevant for your specific circumstances. Contact us for more information via the link here 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Emmanuel Guignard (MBA)
Director & Principal Mortgage Broker
With over 15 years’ experience in the finance industry and a recently completed MBA in Financial Planning, Emmanuel leads the broking team at Loanscope. His experience includes working with a wide range of property investors, from first time buyers to investors with large property portfolios. This includes handling complex applications involving trusts, company structures and self-managed super funds. He also operates as a qualified mentor to other mortgage brokers via the FBBA mentor program.
Emmanuel Guignard