New homes are now favoured under the First Home Owner Grant.

What you need to know about changes to the First Home Owner Grant

Last week the state government announced changes to the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) that will impact your future buyers.

The changes slant the grant away from existing homes and toward new homes, in an attempt to encourage more buyers to build new properties.

Previously, first home buyers could apply for a grant of $7,000 if they planned to live in the property provided it cost less than $750,000, or less than $1 mil if the property was north of the 26th parallel.

Now, the FHOG grant available for existing homes will drop to just $3,000. For first home buyers who build a new property, the grant will rise to $10,000. This will apply to contracts signed from September 15, subject to legislation being passed through parliament. Update: The changes to the grant came into effect on September 25, 2013 – see the Department of Finance website for more details.

There is no change to the First Home Owner Rate of Duty, so first home buyers will still be able to apply to have stamp duty waived for residential properties up to $500,000 and reduced for properties between $500,001 – $600,000.

The changes to the FHOG will have minimal impact on the settlement process, but nevertheless this is a useful piece of information for potential buyers to keep in mind.

What do you think of the changes to the FHOG? Do they disadvantage buyers of existing homes, or are they a change WA had to have? Leave a comment below.

Edit

The WA State Government has since abolished the $3,000 grant for first home buyers purchasing an established property on or after 3rd October 2015. First home buyers who purchased a property prior to that date can still apply for the FHOG and related first home owner rate of duty for a period of 12 months after completion of the eligible contract.

On or after 3rd October 2015  purchasers of established homes will still be able to apply for the first home owner rate of duty if the value of the home is below the current threshold of $530,000.

The FHOG of up to $10,000 for ‘new’ homes will remain unchanged.

Image by Jason Jones via Flickr.