2020 is set to be a great year for the Australian property market for buyers
And there’s even better news for first home buyers, with the government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) beginning 1 January 2020. If you’re ready to get your foot on the property ladder, the FHLDS could help you do exactly that, but it’s important you understand how it differs from other grants and schemes.
How The FHLDS Actually Works
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is in place to support first home buyers, helping them become homeowners with as little as 5% deposit (depending on their lender’s criteria).
Currently the scheme is being rolled out in three phases. On 1 January 2020, banks had already registered the interest of 3,000 first home buyers under the FHLDS. Another 7,000 places will become available from 1 February, so the sooner you speak to your lender about your eligibility for the scheme the better!
Checks to Ensure Your Eligibility
There are a number of checks that will be used to determine whether or not you can take advantage of the FHLDS:
- Income test.
- Prior property ownership test.
- Citizenship test.
- Minimum age test.
- Deposit requirement.
- Owner-occupier requirement.
You will also need to provide your lender with some standard information and paperwork. This will include your full name and date of birth, Medicare number, notice of assessment for the 2018–19 financial year, as well as other details needed to participate in the scheme – your lender will tell you what these will be.
Which Properties Are Part of The Scheme?
There are stipulations around what type of properties are eligible for the FHLDS. It needs to be either an established residential dwelling or a new-build property purchased as part of a house-and-land package, a land and separate home contract, or an off-the-plan arrangement. It also needs to fit under the scheme’s property price caps:
- NSW: $700,000 (capital city and regional centres) and $450,000 (rest of the state).
- VIC: $600,000 (capital city and regional centres) and $375,000 (rest of the state).
- QLD: $475,000 (capital city and regional centres) and $400,000 (rest of the state).
- WA: $400,000 (capital city and regional centres) and $300,000 (rest of the state).
- SA: $400,000 (capital city and regional centres) and $250,000 (rest of the state).
- TAS: $400,000 (capital city and regional centres) and $300,000 (rest of the state).
That means if you’re looking to buy in a residential development or master-planned community – such as Harmony on the Sunshine Coast, Brentwood Forest near Brisbane, Waterford in the Hunter Region, and Savana and Bloomdale near Melbourne, Victoria – then the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme could be the perfect support tool to bolster your finances.
How to Apply Today
The first phase of the FHLDS rolled out for eligible buyers at two major banks: NAB and Commonwealth Bank. However, to provide potential home buyers with greater choice and the opportunity to get their finances in order with smaller lenders, an additional 25 non-major lenders will be able to access the scheme for their clients.
Unlike other grants, you must apply for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme through your lender, and that lender must be participating in the scheme. So to find out whether this could be the financial support to get you on the property ladder be sure to speak to your lender for more details.
Biggest Benefits of The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme
- You can apply as either a couple or a single buyer – be sure to check the eligibility requirements in both cases.
- Your lender can take care of most of the paperwork and submissions.
- There are more than 20,000 places available through July 2020, with the potential for more if the scheme is successful.
- You don’t have to borrow with a major bank – there are 25 non-major lenders participating in the scheme from February 2020.
- You can get your first home with as little as 5% deposit.
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme could be exactly what you need. You can download this fact sheet to know more about the scheme.