First home owner grant

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), which is currently $7000, provides financial assistance to eligible people buying their first new or substantially renovated home.

From 1 July 2019 the FHOG will change. Eligible applicants who enter into a transaction with a commencement date on or after this date will not be entitled to the FHOG payment.

To be entitled to the FHOG payment if you are building a home, the commencement date for your transaction must be on or before 30 June 2019.

The commencement date of a transaction is the date you sign and exchange the contract (not the settlement date). If you’re building a home, the commencement date is the day the foundations start being laid.

The FHOG will be replaced by the new Home Buyer Concession Scheme, which will provide a full duty concession for eligible applicants.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the FHOG:

For further information on eligibility requirements please visit Revenue Circular GEN011.1 Principal place of residence.

Applicants and their partners are not eligible for the FHOG if:

An applicant who received a grant and later paid it back may be entitled to apply for an additional grant, depending on the circumstances.

Grant amount

The FHOG has changed over the years having different grant amounts, residency requirements and application forms depending on the commencement date of your eligible transaction (see Table 1 below).

Table 1 – FHOG information by commencement date range
Commencement dates
Grant amount

1 January 2017 to current

$7,000

1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016

$10,000

1 September 2013 to 31 December 2015

$12,500

New or substantially renovated homes

From 1 September 2013 onwards the FHOG applies only to new or substantially renovated homes.

A new or substantially renovated home means:

  • a home that hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence, or
  • a substantially renovated home that, with renovations complete, hasn’t been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence, or
  • a home that’s subject to an off-the-plan purchase agreement.

Deferred duty is available for established homes in some circumstances.

Substantial renovations

Substantial renovations must be renovations that impact the building as a whole, meaning that all, or substantially all, of the previous building has been removed or replaced.

Substantial renovations do not include:

  • renovating one part of the building without any work on the rest of the home
  • removing or replacing a kitchen or bathroom with only minor repair work on the rest of the home
  • cosmetic improvements.

How to apply

You can lodge your FHOG application in two ways: through an approved agent or directly to the ACT Revenue Office.

You must lodge your application within one year from the completion date of the eligible transaction. This means the settlement date or the date of issue of the Certificate of Occupancy and Use.

Owner-builders can only lodge their application within this one-year period if the home has been completed.

Filling out the application

When you apply for the FHOG, you need to make sure the information on your application is true and correct. It’s an offence for you to make a false or misleading statement when applying for the grant.

If you’re unsure about any of your obligations or the information required in the application, contact us so we can help.

Applying through an approved agent

An approved agent is a financial organisation approved by us to accept and process applications for the grant before completion of the eligible transaction.

You must use an approved agent for payment to be available at settlement or first draw down/progress payment.

If you apply through an approved agent, the agent can lodge the application any time between the transaction’s commencement date (exchange of the contract) and the completion date.

Please contact the agent for a status update on your application.

Applying directly

We only accept direct applications after completion of the transaction. The FHOG application is made by SmartForm .

Please submit complete applications with all the necessary supporting documents; incomplete applications delay processing time.

What happens next?

If we approve your FHOG application:

  • and you applied through an approved agent, you’ll receive your grant at the settlement date set by the approved agent;
  • and you applied directly to us, you’ll receive your grant within 10 working days.

We review applications and conduct ongoing investigations to make sure that all applicants comply with the conditions. We generally conduct these investigations after we’ve paid the grant.

What happens if I don’t comply?

If, at any time, you do not meet the FHOG eligibility requirements, you must, by law, notify the Commissioner for ACT Revenue in writing and repay the grant within 14 days of becoming aware of your ineligibility.

If you have any concerns about your FHOG eligibility, including residency, please contact us  as early as possible.