First-time buyers have a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a home in 2021, as a quick search on incentives and grants shows there are more of them in the market now than ever before.

Let’s take a look at what’s available, how much they’re worth and most importantly, when they expire.

Stamp Duty

A number of discounts, exemptions and concessions are available to first-homeowners, depending on the state you live in. These can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, and many of them are due to expire this year.

In NSW:

The First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme is available from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021 and could save you up to $31,000 in waived stamp duty fees.

Transfer duty / ValueNew homeExisting homeLand
Full exemptionless than $800,000less than $650,000less than $400,000
Concessional ratebetween $800,000 and $1 millionBetween $650,000 and $800,000Between $400,000 and $500,000

Contract must be entered into by 31 July 2021. Check if you’re eligible here

In Victoria:

A stamp duty exemption worth up to $27,500 is available. This is comprised of a 50% stamp duty discount that applies for all buyers of newly built homes valued at up to $1 million, while a 25% stamp duty discount is on offer for established homes.

Contract must be entered into by 1 July 2021. Check if you’re eligible for a discount here.

Elsewhere:

Across the country, stamp duty exemption and concessions vary on a state-to-state basis. See what stamp duty discounts might be available near you, and check how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in your area using this calculator.

HomeBuilder

Both first time buyers and regular buyers alike are being offered some opportunities to save money when buying (or building) a new home.

HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) a grant worth $15,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. It was initially due to expire in December 2020, but was extended to March 31, 2020.

Aside from the potential to receive a nice lump sum payment from the grant towards the purchase price, some of the benefits of building a new home include having builder’s guarantee, more flexibility for future plans (e.g. extensions), better prospects for renting out, and higher tax depreciation benefits.

For those considering the HomeBuilder scheme, you have to act fast – there’s only a little while left to take advantage, in line with the changes that have been announced:

  • Deadline for application: extended to 14 April 2021
  • Date of contract signing: until 30 March 2021
  • Grant amount: $15,000 (for contracts signed between 1 January and 30 March 2021)
  • Construction window: within six months from the contract date

Click here to see if you’re eligible for this grant.

First Home Buyer Deposit Scheme

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) is an Australian Government initiative that allows first-time buyers to get into a property with a deposit as low as 5%.

Usually first homebuyers with less than a 20% deposit need to pay lenders mortgage insurance. Under the Scheme, eligible first homebuyers can purchase an existing property or build a new home with just 5%, as the NHFIC guarantees the other 15% of the value of the property.

The scheme has been extended through to June 2022, and could help you get into a home much sooner, as you don’t need to save a full 20% deposit.

Click here to see if you’re eligible for this scheme.

First Home Owners Grants

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme was initially introduced in the year 2000 to offset the impact of the GST, which added a huge amount of expense to the cost of new homes.

Today, the grant varies between states and territories and in most cases, is only available on brand new homes. The grants are generally valued at between $7,000 and 10,000, and can be worth more in regional areas.

Check out which first homeowner grants are available in your state or territory.