Individuals looking to purchase their first home may be entitled to an exemption from paying transfer duty, or a concessional rate of transfer duty under the First Home Buyer Assistance scheme (FHBAS).
The FHBAS can be used when:
- Buying an existing home
- Buying a new home
- Buying vacant land that will be used to build a home.
When purchasing new and existing homes, eligibility for a transfer duty exemption or concession depends on the value of the property. If the value of the property is under $650,000, first home buyers can apply for a full exemption of transfer duty. If the property is valued between $650,000 and $800,000, first home buyers can apply for a concessional rate of transfer duty. The concessional rate you receive will be determined by the value of the property.
First home buyers who wish to purchase vacant land to build their home on will be exempt from paying transfer duty if the value of the land is under $350,000. If the land is valued between $350,000 and $450,000, first home buyers will receive a concessional rate of transfer duty.
The FHBAS will be available to those who meet the following criteria:
- They are an individual (not a company or trust).
- They are over 18 years of age.
- They have never owned or co-owned a residential property in Australia.
- Their partner or spouse has never owned or co-owned a residential property in Australia.
- They, or their spouse or partner, have never received an exemption or concession under the FHBAS.
- At least one of the first home buyers is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
First home buyers must also satisfy living requirements in order to be eligible for the FHBAS. At least one of the first home buyers must move into the new property within 12 months of purchasing it and live there for a minimum of six continuous months. Individuals who do not satisfy these living requirements will no longer be eligible for the scheme.
Substantial penalties may apply for providing false or misleading information to apply for the FHBAS. Applications will be compared against data from other government sources to check for any inaccuracies in information.