Financial incentives for property buyers and owners
Can't keep track of who is eligible for what? Johnston Withers Lawyers give you the run-down.
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With all of the doom and gloom of COVID-19, the Australian government is keen to provide some financial incentive to the world of new home buyers/owners. It is then anticipated these measures will in turn boost the property and construction sectors right around the country that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 downturn. The incentives include the new HomeBuilder grants and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
New HomeBuilder grants
Grants of $25,000 are available to eligible owner-occupiers to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. Applicants must enter into a building contract between June 4, 2020 and December 31, 2020. The government expects the program to cost up to $680 million or about 27,000 successful grant applicants.
What is a substantial renovation?
The contract to renovate your primary place of residence must be between $150,000 and $750,000 and the value of your existing property (pre-renovation) must not exceed $1.5 million in value. This includes land value. This work could include making a considerable change to your property, or demolishing your old home and building a new home on the land. This grant cannot be used for property improvements such as swimming pools, tennis courts, sheds, standalone garages, granny flats and landscaping etc.
The scheme applies to owner-occupiers entering into a contract (between June 4, 2020 and December 31, 2020) for a new build where the property value does not exceed $750,000. The home must be the primary place of residence also.
Who is eligible?
To apply for the HomeBuilder grant owner-occupiers must:
Be aged 18 years or over;
Be a natural person (not a trust or company);
Be an Australian citizen;
Earn under $125,000 per annum for individuals (based on your 2018-19 or later tax return) or earn under $200,000 per annum for couples (based on your 2018-19 or later tax return)
Not have previously received the HomeBuilder grant in any other Australian state or territory.
Building and renovation work must commence no later than three months after signing the building contract. If applicants are unable to meet this commencement timeframe, they can request an extension in writing to Revenue SA.
How is the program going?
As at October 23, 2020, 14,599 applications had been received across Australia. Seventy-nine per cent of these applications represented new builds.
For further information, visit www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/grants-and-concessions/homebuilder-grant or treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/homebuilder.
First Home Loan Deposit Scheme
The Australian government has assisted almost 20,000 first home buyers purchase a home with a deposit as low as 5% under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. With 10,000 guarantees released each financial year, the government has just released an additional 10,000 guarantees for the 20-21 financial year and are specifically for eligible first home buyers building or purchasing new homes up until June 30, 2021.
Most lenders require home buyers to have at least 20% of the property value saved as a deposit; this scheme allows buyers into the property market with a deposit of as little as 5% of the property value. The guarantee is provided to a participating lender by the government so the home buyer/borrower no longer has to pay lenders’ mortgage insurance, a significant cost to many new home buyers.
As with the HomeBuilder scheme, applicants of the FHLDS must:
Be aged over 18 years;
Be an Australian Citizens;
Earn under $125,000 per annum for individuals (based on your 2018/19 or later tax return) or earn under $200,000 per annum for couples (based on your 2018/19 or later tax return)
If you have 20% or more deposit saved, then your home loan will not be covered.
Applicants must be owner-occupiers of the purchased property. Investment properties are not included in the scheme.
Applicants must be first home buyers and who have not previously owned any property jointly or separately within Australia.
Property price thresholds
As property price ranges are vastly different across Australia, there are different price caps depending on the location. Here are the thresholds for South Australia:
SA – capital city: $400,000 (established homes) or $550,000 (new homes)
SA – other: $250,000 (established homes) or $400,000 (new homes)
For further information, visit www.nhfic.gov.au/what-we-do/fhlds.
Johnston Withers Lawyers and conveyancers – we’re here to help!
Johnston Withers Lawyers and conveyancers understand how overwhelming buying your first home can be. If you’d like advice from one of our helpful conveyancers, please contact Tanya Williams, Fiona Woolfitt or Kylie Gilbert on 8231 1110 or get in touch online.