Homeownership in this day and age can feel like a fleeting dream for many due to the soaring housing prices and cost of living.
To help combat the tough times, the government has introduced multiple federal and state level incentives that seek to help first home buyers settle into their new home a little sooner.
These range of grants available to first home buyers in Western Australia include:
Our guide will take you through all the grants available to first home buyers in WA, so that you can make the most of the government financial assistance available to you.
To qualify for the $10,000 first home owners grant in Western Australia, there are some simple initial requirements for all applicants:
Furthermore, there are rigid measures in place to ensure that the grant is exclusively available for first home owners, meaning that applicants and their spouse/partner:
It's important to note that there are further restrictions detailed within the eligibility criteria, but most prospective first home owners should be able to qualify for this grant with relative ease.
Any first home buyer that meets the previously mentioned qualification requirements must also ensure that their property is in agreement with the eligibility criteria highlighted by the Western Australia Department of Finance.
Eligibility restrictions are imposed on houses according to their total property value and the willingness of the buyer to reside in the property for an extended duration of time.
According to the Department of Finance, total property value is measured in different ways according to the nature of the transaction:
The eligibility requirements imposed on the 'total property value' are as follows:
(For reference, all Perth metropolitan areas are classified as south of the 26th parallel)
Along with the eligibility criteria pertaining to property value, any applicants for the first home owner grant must reside within their new property as a primary place of residence for a minimum of 6 months within a year of purchasing the home. If the property is being purchased on behalf of someone with a disability, they must still meet these residency requirements to claim the FHOG.
Though these requirements are mostly set in stone, you can apply for a residency reduction or extension if your circumstances have greatly changed since purchasing the home.
Unlike some other state level first home owner grants, Western Australia allows buyers to voluntarily repay the FHOG in order to be eligible again in the future. This may be an option to consider if your financial situation has greatly improved since your initial application.
The application for the first home owner grant in WA is relatively straightforward, especially for those with an approved agent. If you have applied for a home loan with a lending institution, call them up to check if they are approved and they can process the application on your behalf.
If your lender is not an approved agent, then you'll have to apply directly through the Department of Finance online.
Generally speaking, applying through an approved agent will result in a faster processing time, though the turnaround time for payment will primarily depend on the nature of the transaction:
The Home Buyers Assistance Account is intended to help cover some of the incidental costs associated with buying your first home. The grant is only available for those in Western Australia and aims to provide financial aid of up to $2,000.
This scheme is funded from interest paid on real estate agents' trust accounts, meaning only properties purchased through licensed real estate agents are eligible for the incentive.
In order to qualify for the HBAA, prospective buyers must meet the same first home buyer criteria outlined for the FHOG. This requires the applicant and their spouse/partner to:
The “incidental costs” can include any fees paid for mortgage registration, conveyancing, property valuation valuation, inspection, as well as lenders mortgage insurance premiums and any fees paid to lending institutions related to the purchase of your first home.
Similarly to the first home owner grant, applicants must ensure that their intended property meets additional eligibility requirements listed by the WA Department of Finance.
The Home Buyers Assistance Account is only available for property that adheres to restrictions placed on valuation, purchasing method and residency. They are as follows:
In order to apply for the HBAA, you must complete the first section (section A) of the application provided on the Government of Western Australia’s website and send the application to your lender for pre-approval. You must also provide a copy of:
The lender will then complete the second section of the form and lodge the application on your behalf.
Any first home buyers in Western Australia can access a stamp duty concession through the first home owner rate of duty (subject to property value).
To qualify as a first home buyer you must:
The eligibility criteria for first home owner stamp duty waivers are the same as those that apply to the WA first home owner grant.
Eligibility mainly hinges on the previously mentioned property value thresholds:
However, home buyers can be eligible for the stamp duty waiver even if they do not formally qualify for the FHOG if:
You can read more about these exemptions and other specific circumstances on the WA Government website.
Firstly, you'll need to lodge a FHOG Application and pre-approval form for first home owner rate of duty with either your lending institution or Revenue WA.
If you are approved for all of the relevant criteria, Revenue WA will send you a letter of approval and the formal application. You will then need to submit any relevant transaction evidence (contract of sale, transfer of land, etc.) along with a completed copy of the formal application to Revenue WA for reimbursement.
Much like many other states, WA allows for backdated stamp duty exemptions as long as it's within a year of settlement. In this instance, you would need to submit the same documents listed above, along with a copy of the Certificate of Duty to show that you have overpaid duty to claim.
Due to the sheer volume of first home owner initiatives available, it can be easy to miss or overlook certain grants you may be eligible for. Even if you don't qualify for the FHOG, HBAA or FHOR, there may still be other grants accessible to you as a first home owner in Australia.
The Building Bonus Grant is a limited, one-time $20,000 incentive given to Western Australians who intend on constructing a new home. Anyone in WA can apply for the grant so long as:
The Building Bonus Grant is open to any homeowner for application and is separate from the Home Builder Grant. This means that you could still be eligible for the Building Bonus Grant even if you have already received the Home Builder Grant or FHOG.
The First Home Guarantee is a federal government funded initiative that looks to help secure a property for home buyers struggling with putting down a sizable deposit.
If you are selected for the scheme, a portion of your home loan (subject to lender participation) will be insured by the NHFIC (National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation). This means that eligible home buyers could potentially purchase a home with a minimum of 5% deposit.
The government has limited the scheme to 35,000 first home buyers and anyone can apply as long as they are purchasing their first home between July 1 2022 and June 30 2023. Like the Building Bonus Grant, you are still eligible for this scheme even if you have made use of other first home owner grants and incentives.
The upcoming Help to Buy scheme proposed by the Labor Government aims to cut the cost of homeownership through a government contribution of up to 40% towards the purchase of a new home. Furthermore, this scheme also allows for a government contribution of up to 30% for the purchase of an established or existing home.
This means that eligible home buyers can purchase with as little as 2% deposit and will also avoid paying the Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) premium.
Although this means that the government will own an equity share in any houses purchased through the Help to Buy Scheme, home owners can opt to buy the equity back when they are financially stable enough to do so. These repayments can be made any time in the future and must be made in minimum repayments of 5%.
This scheme is set to become available to 10,000 individuals every financial year and is open to application from anybody as long as their income levels do not exceed $90,000 per annum or a combined $120,000 per annum in the case of couples. The only other restriction is a specified property value threshold that varies according to area and state. Currently, the proposed price cap is set at $550,000 for Perth and $400,000 for the rest of WA.
The Family Home Guarantee scheme is in place to help single parents with at least one dependent child to purchase a family home. Since this scheme primarily targets single parents, you may be eligible even if you are not a first home buyer.
Like the others listed above, this scheme aims to eliminate the need for LMI and will allow single parents to purchase a home with a 2% deposit. Up to 5000 Family Home Guarantees will be handed out by the government annually between 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025. You can check with this infographic provided by the NHFIC to see if you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Super Saver Scheme is a nation-wide incentive that aims to streamline the first home buying process by allowing you to save through your super fund. It allows you to make voluntary concessional contributions to your super fund of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total. From 1 July 2022 this amount will increase to $50,000. To keep updated on the details, be sure to regularly check the ATO website.
For more information on government grants, head on over to our definitive guide on all of the eligibility requirements and details regarding Federal first home buyer incentives.
Curious about first home buyer incentives, but not from Western Australia? No worries. Check out our other state-specific guides below for more information on what grants you can leverage as a first time home buyer:
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Unfortunately, the First Home Buyers Grant is only available to those building or purchasing a new home. A home that has been through substantial renovation may qualify as a new home with supporting documentation.
Although the FHOG is unavailable if you are looking to buy established or existing properties, you may still be eligible for the stamp duty exemptions.
20% is the industry standard for deposit required when purchasing your first home. However, with a handful of government schemes in place to make homeownership more accessible, it is becoming easier to secure a home with less deposit.
Some incentives such as the Help to Buy Scheme and New Home Guarantee may even allow you to purchase your first home using as little as a 2% deposit and without incurring LMI.
The amount of stamp duty you have to pay will always depend on the dutiable value of your property. Rates of duty are broken down into general rate price brackets, but you may qualify for concessional rates such as the first home owner rate of duty.
To find out more about stamp duty costs, check with the WA Government website.