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Frequent questions

2014 State Budget

Are there any changes to the First Home Owner Grant (New Home) scheme?

Yes. On and from 1 July 2014, the first home owner grant cap has been increased from $650,000 to $750,000. This applies to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2014, or for owner builders if the building work commences on or after 1 July 2014. The grant will only be available for properties with a total value not exceeding the cap amount.

Are there any other changes to the First Home Owner Grant (New Home) scheme?

No. There are no other changes.

How is the total value of the home calculated?

For a contract for the purchase of a home, the total value is based on the greater of the following:

  • the consideration for the eligible transaction
  • the unencumbered value, as at the commencement date of the eligible transaction.

For a comprehensive home building contract, the total value is calculated by adding together:

  • the consideration for the eligible transaction,
  • the value, of the relevant interest of the land on which the home is to be built as at the commencement date of the eligible transaction.

For a building of a home by an owner builder, the total value is calculated by adding together:

  • the unencumbered value of the home and the value of the relevant interest in the land on which the home is built as at the date the transaction is completed.

The value of the relevant interest in the land on which the home is to be built is the greater of the following:

  • the consideration paid or payable for the interest
  • the unencumbered value of the interest.

If a contract to purchase a new home was entered into in June 2014, with a total value of $700,000, would a First Home Owner Grant be payable?

No. Eligibility is determined as at the commencement date of the contract. The First Home Owner Grant cap was $650,000 in June 2014. If the contract was entered into on or after 1 July 2014, the cap of $750,000 would apply, so the grant would be payable.

Does the increase in the First Home Owner Grant cap apply to replacement contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2014?

No. For a contract entered into on or after 1 July 2014, to replace a contract entered into before 1 July 2014, to purchase or build the same or substantially the same home, the cap of $650,000 applies.

Does the $750,000 cap also apply to other grants and schemes?

No. The $750,000 applies to the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme only.

General

What is the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes)?

The First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) provides a grant of $10,000 to help eligible first home buyers to purchase or build a new home.

It replaces the $15,000 First Home Owner Grant from 1 January 2016.

When does it apply?

The grant of $10,000 applies to eligible transactions entered into on or after 1 January 2016.

The grant of $15,000 applies to eligible transactions entered into on or after 1 October 2012 and before 1 January 2016.

What is an eligible transaction?

An eligible transaction is:

  • a contract made on or after 1 January 2016 for the purchase of a new home in New South Wales (NSW)

  • a comprehensive home building contract made on or after 1 January 2016 by the owner of the land in NSW or a person who will on completion of the contract be the owner of land in NSW, to have a home built on it, or the building of a home in NSW by the owner builder if the building work commences on or after 1 January 2016.

What is a new home?

A new home is a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence, and includes a home that is a substantially renovated home and a home built to replace demolished premises.

What is a substantially renovated home?

A home is substantially renovated if:

  • the sale of the home is a taxable supply of new residential premises within the meaning of section 40-75(1)(b) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 of the Commonwealth, and

  • the home, as renovated, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence.

It will be necessary for the seller to indicate that each of these requirements have been satisfied to establish that new residential premises have been created through substantial renovations.

Under sec.195.1 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services ) Act 1999 (C'th), 'substantial renovations' of a building are defined as renovations in which all, or substantially all, of a building is removed or replaced. The renovations may, but need not, involve the removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases.

This definition requires consideration of what work has been done to the building since it was acquired by the person who is selling the renovated property to you. The renovations must have affected the building as a whole, and resulted in the removal or replacement of all, or substantially all, of the previous building. For renovations to have been substantial, they must have affected most of the rooms in the previous building. The renovation of only one part of a building without any work on the remaining parts of the building (for example, the renovation of only one bedroom in a four-bedroom house, would not have constituted substantial renovations). Similarly, the removal and replacement of a kitchen and bathroom with little else having been done to the building, apart from minor repair work, would not be substantial renovations.

There must have been a removal or replacement of all, or a substantial part, of the structural and/or non-structural components of the previous building.

Structural building work includes:

  • altering or replacement of foundations

  • replacement or alteration of floors or supporting walls (interior and exterior)

  • lifting or modification of roofs

  • the replacement of existing windows and doors such that it is necessary to alter brickwork.

Non-structural building work includes:

  • replacing electrical wiring

  • replacing or altering non-supporting walls (interior or exterior)

  • plastering or rendering an entire wall or walls, plumbing (e.g. replacing pipes)

  • replacing kitchen cupboards, bathroom fixtures, air-conditioning or security systems.

Substantial renovations do not include cosmetic work such as painting, sanding floors, replacing light fittings, or replacing curtains and carpets. However, where structural and/or non-structural building work amounts to substantial renovations that have created new residential premises, any cosmetic work also undertaken will form part of the new residential premises.

Applications for a First Home Owner (New Homes) Grant on the basis that the applicant has purchased new residential premises that have been created through substantial renovations of a building will be considered on a case by case basis. In particular cases, the Chief Commissioner may require further evidence than the requirements set out above.

What is a home built to replace demolished premises?

A home is a home built to replace demolished premises if:

  • the home is a new residential premises within the meaning of section 40-75(1)(b) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 of the C'th

  • the home, built to replace the demolished premises, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence

  • the owner of the home did not occupy the demolished premises as a place of residence before they were demolished.

Does the price of the home need to be under a limit to receive the First Home Owner Grant (New Home)?

Yes, effective from 1 October 2012 the First Home Owner Grant (New Home) is capped at $650,000. Effective from 1 July 2014, the First Home Owner Grant (New Home) is capped at $750,000. The grant will only be available for properties with a total value not exceeding the cap amount.

How is the Total Value of the home calculated?

For a contract of sale of a home, the total value is based on the greater of the following:

  • the consideration for the eligible transaction

  • the unencumbered value, as at the commencement date of the eligible transaction.

For a comprehensive home building contract, the total value is calculated by adding together:

  • the consideration for the eligible transaction,

  • the value, of the relevant interest of the land on which the home is to be built as at the commencement date of the eligible transaction.

For a building of a home by an owner builder, the total value is calculated by adding together:

  • the unencumbered value of the home and the value of the relevant interest in the land on which the home is built as at the date the transaction is completed.

The value of the relevant interest in the land on which the home is to be built is the greater of the following:

  • the consideration paid or payable for the interest

  • the unencumbered value of the interest.

From October 2012 do I get a grant if I buy an existing home?

No, from 1 October 2012, the First Home Owner Grant will only be payable on the purchase of new homes.

The $7,000 First Home Owner Grant is still available on contracts for the purchase of existing homes entered into before 1 October 2012.

Does the First Home Owner Grant (New Home) apply to replacement contracts entered into on or after 1 October 2012?

A contract for the sale or transfer is not eligible if:

  • it replaces an agreement made before 1 October 2012, and

  • the replaced contract is for the sale or transfer of substantially the same property.

Does the increase in the First Home Owner Grant cap to $750,000 apply to replacement contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2014?

No. If the contract was made before 1 July 2014 and it is a contract for the purchase of the same home or a comprehensive building contract to build the same or a substantially similar home, the cap of $650,000 will apply.

Can I get the First Home Owner Grant and the $5,000 New Home Grant?

If you receive the First Home Owner Grant, you cannot receive the $5,000 New Home Grant for the same property.

Last updated: 19 May 2016