A first home buyer's state-by-state guide to grants and stamp duty concessions

Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania have in the past week made changes to their stamp duty and first home buyers grant offerings, so API Magazine has provided a clear guide as to what's available in your state or territory.

Welcome mat with words 'Our first home'.
First home buyers should capitalise on whatever grants and concessions they can access. (Image source: Shutterstock.com)

Buying that first home is stressful enough as a life-changing commitment, so the added confusion around what the different states and territories offer by way of grants and stamp duty concessions only adds to the worries.

Queensland on Sunday (10 June) increased its stamp (transfer) duty threshold by $200,000 for first home buyers to $700,000. The concession then phases out up to values of $800,000.

The Steven Miles Labor Government estimated the changes would support around 10,000 buyers a year to buy their first home.

Foreign buyers will go some way towards offsetting the state’s lost revenue.

The Queensland Government has increased the foreign investor land tax surcharge to 3 per cent, which is closing in on New South Wales and Victoria who set their surcharges at 4 per cent. Transfer duty surcharge for foreign buyers is being brought into line with New South Wales and Victoria at 8 per cent.

State governments have become heavily reliant on the stamp duty fees (under whatever alternative name they prefer to apply to that tax).

In just Brisbane, for example, in the past four years the state government has collected $216 million in ‘transfer concessions’ applied to 17,660 first home buyer transactions in the state capital alone.

A further 76,241 homeowners had the transfer duty home concession applied to the purchase of their Brisbane home.

South Australia last week became the first state to completely abolish stamp duty for first home buyers.

For first home buyers, the financial burden is compounded by the uncertainty around what concessions and grants available to them.

To help first home buyers navigate the maze of offerings, API Magazine has compiled the following guide to what is on offer across the various jurisdictions.

New South Wales

A $10,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is available when you buy or build your first new home. The dwelling can be a house, townhouse, apartment, unit or similar that is newly built, purchased off-the-plan or substantially renovated.

For a newly built house, townhouse, apartment, unit or similar, the purchase price must not exceed $600,000.

If purchasing vacant land and signing a building contract with a builder then the government adds the value of the vacant land plus the value of the comprehensive home building contract plus the cost of any building variations done together. The total combined cost must not exceed $750,000.

The NSW Government also doesn’t charge first home buyers stamp duty on properties valued at up to $800,000, or vacant land valued at up to $350,000. 

It offers discounted stamp duty for first time buyers purchasing properties worth between $800,000 and $1 million and land worth between $350,000 and $450,000.

Victoria

A FHOG of $10,000 is available for those buying their first home valued at up to $750,000.

Stamp duty is waived for properties valued up to $800,000 and land valued up to $350,000. 

Queensland

The first home owner grant was recently doubled and now gives eligible first-time home buyers $30,000 towards buying or building a new home in Queensland (but it's only eligible until 30 June 2025).

As mentioned above, first home buyers now receive concessions on transfer duties for properties valued up to $700,000, up from the previous $500,000. The threshold for concessions will also rise on vacant land valued up to $350,000, from $250,000.

Western Australia

The WA Government last month changed first time buyer stamp duty property value thresholds for the first time since 2014.

As part of the 2024-25 State Budget, the Government increased the first home buyers transfer duty concession threshold for established homes from $530,000 to $600,000, and the exemption threshold from $430,000 to $450,000.

This means Western Australians buying their first home will pay no stamp duty on purchases up to $450,000 and will receive a concessional stamp duty rate on properties valued up to $600,000.

Eligible first home buyers can receive a $10,000 grant towards buying or building a new home, or a grant equal to the consideration paid to buy or build a house if less than that amount.

WA’s north and south are also treated differently. To receive the grant, those in the Perth metropolitan area must the limit the combined cost of land and building to below $750,000. North of the 26th parallel (from Shark Bay onwards) that value is $1 million.

South Australia

South Australia can lay claim to the friendliest environment for first home buyers looking for a helping hand.

June’s 2024-25 Budget abolished property value thresholds for both the stamp duty exemption and FHOG at a cost to the state of $30 million over four years.

With the abolition of property value limits, a first homebuyer who purchases a new dwelling broadly in line with the median house price of $750,000 will receive a benefit of over $50,000, including the First Home Owner Grant of $15,000.

The stamp duty exemption will be available to all first home buyers who buy a new home (including a house, flat, unit, townhouse or apartment), an off-the-plan apartment, a house and land package or vacant land to build a new home.

Tasmania

Liberal Party Premier Jeremy Rockliff on 26 May made good on an election promise by exempting first home buyers from stamp duty on properties valued at up to $750,000.

First home buyers might want to strike early though, as the exemption is expected to run until mid-2026 before being revoked or at least reviewed.

Eligible first home buyers in Tasmania can receive a $30,000 grant if they are purchasing or building a new home and unlike elsewhere in the country there is no price cap on the value. 

Northern Territory

First home buyers in the Top End face a relatively harsh introduction to the property market.

While there is access to a $10,000 FHOG (known as the BuildBonus grant and Territory Home Owner Discount), stamp duty exemptions that were in place up to June 2021 are no longer available.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT’s FHOG has been replaced by the new Home Buyer Concession Scheme.

First home buyers can save a maximum of $34,504 but the amounts vary according to the buyer’s income and family size.

For more detailed information, including the myriad terms and conditions that inevitably apply, buyers should check with their jurisdiction’s state or territory Revenue Office.

Article Q&A

Can first home buyers get stamp duty concessions?

Stamp duty rules vary around Australia's states and territories, ranging from South Australia's newly introduced complete exemption, through to the Northern Territory's lack of any concessions at all.

What grants are available for first home buyers?

First home owner grants (FHOGs) range in value from $10,000 to $30,000 across Australia's states and territories, with the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia at the lower end, with Tasmania's and Queensland's $30,000 at the top of the tree.

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