The latest government home schemes explained
About the author
Jane Slack-Smith has been named one of the Top 10 Property Experts in Australia by Money Magazine, one of the Top 4 Financial Influencers by Qantas and been awarded the Australia’s Mortgage Broker of the Year twice.
There was some good news for first home buyers in the recent Federal Budget. It included a variety of new schemes and extensions to existing schemes, all aimed at helping more people realise their dream of home ownership.
Here’s an overview of the assistance being made available and who can benefit.
Building your first home
On 1 July 2021, the New Home Guarantee, previously referred to as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, will release 10,000 places for first home buyers wanting to build a new home or buy a newly built home.
Any home buyer with less than a 20 per cent deposit normally needs to pay lenders mortgage insurance, which can represent a large additional cost at purchase or potentially add to your repayments if it forms part of your loan. With the New Home Guarantee, first home buyers can buy their home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent without having to pay lenders mortgage insurance. This is because the government will guarantee up to 15 percent of the value of the property.
In order to be eligible for the New Home Guarantee scheme, you and/or your spouse or de facto partner, will need to be an Australian resident over the age of 18. There are several criteria you will need to satisfy including an income test, a prior ownership test, meet the owner occupier requirement and have a minimum 5 per cent deposit.i
Help for single parents with dependents
The new Family Home Guarantee is providing mortgage guarantees for single parents with dependants, who want to build a new home or buy an existing one.
The scheme allows single parents to buy a home with a deposit of as low as 2 per cent, and is open to single parents who are first home buyers or have been owner-occupiers before. To be eligible your annual income must be below $125,000. It is flagged to run for four years with the first 10,000 places opening on 1 July 2021.ii
The Family Home Guarantee works in a similar way to the New Home Guarantee scheme and is an exciting initiative for single parents who are struggling to save a deposit.
Increases to tax-efficient deposit saving in your super
The Government is extending and increasing the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) to help even more people buy their own home.
From 1 July 2022, you are able to release up to $50,000 from your superannuation to put towards a deposit for your first home. If two people are saving under the scheme, that’s up to $100,000 you could add to your deposit. This is an increase from the $30,000 maximum per person previously available.iii
The great thing about this scheme is that you can benefit from the tax savings that apply to voluntary super contributions and the income those investments earn while saving for your first home deposit.
The changes apply retrospectively to valid FHSS release requests and contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2018. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you are interested in applying for the scheme or would like to find out more.
Extension to HomeBuilder start dates
If you applied for a HomeBuilder grant but haven’t started construction yet, there’s good news for you too. The construction deadline has been extended from six to 18 months for all applications, which includes contracts signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 March 2021.iv
We’re here to help
While having so many schemes on offer is great, it’s easy to feel confused about which you qualify for.
If you’d like to discuss whether any of these schemes may be appropriate for your circumstances and how to apply, then please get in touch. It’s never too early or late to start planning your path to home ownership.
Please note that some of these schemes are not yet legislated at the time of publication.