The Federal Government has implemented measures to encourage and assist Australians in purchasing property through grant programs, saving incentives and eased lending criteria. As a result, new housing build numbers are the highest they have been in 2 decades, while first home buyers are entering the market at a rate not seen in more than 12 years. Recently reviewed again in the 21/22 Federal Budget, there have been further modifications to the eligibility criteria of existing stimulants, as well as new incentives introduced in an effort to support a wider range of Australians in their quest for home ownership.
Family Home Guarantee (New)
The Family Home Guarantee will assist 10,000 eligible single parents with dependent children to enter the housing market with a deposit of just 2%. The scheme extends to both new and existing properties and is not limited to first home buyers in order to cater to parents who have previously owned property. Applications will open from July 1, 2021, offering 10,000 places to Australian citizens over the age of 18 who earn less than $125,000 per annum.
First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (Rebranded as ‘New Home Guarantee’)
The First Homeowner Deposit Scheme was originally introduced on the 1st of January 2020 to allow first home buyers to secure a property with as little as 5% deposit. The incentive can be used in conjunction with other Government grants and eliminates the need to take out mortgage insurance. Rebranded as the ‘New Home Guarantee’, the grant will accommodate 10,000 more applications as of the first of July 2021. Conditions stipulate that the loan must be for a new property that falls within the price threshold, recently increased from $475,000 to $600,000 for Brisbane.
First Home Super Saver Scheme (Amended)
The First Home Super Saver Scheme allows participants to save for a home deposit within their superannuation fund. Superannuation withdrawals are taxed at a lesser rate (roughly 15%), meaning that first homebuyers can save quicker by making voluntary contributions into their funds. The maximum contribution amount has been increased in the 2021/2022 budget from $30,000 to $50,000, with couples able to save and withdraw from their supers individually. The higher amount will be available for release from July 1st, 2022, inclusive of any contributions made after 1st July 2017.
Homebuilder Incentive (Extended)
One of the most popular programs, the Homebuilder Incentive was inundated with applications upon its’ release in June 2020. The scheme is for those planning on building a new home or undertaking large-scale renovations with a minimum cost of $125,000. The $15,000 grant originally had a construction commencement period of three months, however due to the overwhelming response and demand on the construction industry, this has been extended to 18 months for all existing applications.
Downsizer Scheme (Amended)
In 2018, the Federal Budget introduced a scheme that allowed those over the age of 65 to make a one-off deposit into their superannuation of up to $300,000 ($600,000 for couples) from the sale of their family home. The 2021/2022 budget has lowered the age from 65 to 60 in an attempt to free up more homes for younger families and allow downsizers to boost their retirement funds earlier. The new age restrictions will come into effect as of the 1st of July 2022.