The $15,000 Queensland first-home owner construction grant: What first-home buyers need to know

From today a new $15,000 first-home owner construction grant (FHOCG) is available in Queensland, replacing the $7,000 first-home owner grant, which has run since 2000.

The FHOCG applies to new property bought or built at a value under $750,000, meaning these buyers will be $8,000 better off under the new scheme.

There are no state government grants for existing properties bought by first-home buyers, who will now be $7,000 worse off – although the Queensland government claims this incentive only served to push up house prices by $7,000.

In addition, under a scheme which has operated since August last year, first-home buyers pay no stamp duty on homes valued up to $500,000 – a saving of  $8,750 and full exemption for vacant land purchased to build a new home up to a value of $250,000.

First-home buyer stamp duty concessions apply to a home purchase price or value of $550,000 and to land up to $400,000 – the rates can be found on the Queensland Office of State Revenue website.

A first-home buyer buying a new median-priced Brisbane home valued at $400,000 would be entitled to the $15,000 first home owner construction grant and would pay no stamp duty (a saving of $5,250).

Before  September 12 the same first-home buyer would have received $7,000 under the first-home owners' grant and the same stamp duty savings.

The Queensland state government has released the following FHOCG summary to assist first-home buyers.

These are the six things you need to know:

  1. The FHOCG is for first-home buyers who are buying a newly constructed or off-the-plan property.
  2. The FHOCG replaces the first-home owner grant which was $7,000. 
  3. Those first-home buyers who have purchased an existing dwelling will have until October 11 to finalise their contract (to be eligible for $7,000 grant).
  4. First-home buyers signing contracts for new properties before September 12 will receive $7,000, and those signing on or after September 12 will receive $15,000.
  5. The program will be administered within existing arrangements in the Treasury Department.
  6. Major banks and financial institutions will continue to advertise the FHOCG in their loan marketing material, reducing the cost for taxpayers.

The following eligibility criteria still apply:

  1. It must become your principal place of residence within one year of taking ownership.
  2. It must be your principle place of residence for at least six months.
  3. You must not dispose of all or part of the property within one year after you start to occupy the residence as your home.
  4. The property must be bought or built at a value under $750,000.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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