The Victorian Government has recently announced housing initiatives. These include the abolishment of stamp duty for some first-home buyers, changing the FHOG in regional Victoria, changes to off-the-plan concession, and a tax for vacant residential property.

These initiatives have to be approved by the Victorian Parliament before they can begin. You should only rely on the exact detail of the changes once the legislation is passed. This is likely to be in June 2017.

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about proposed changes to the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for regional Victoria.

Our website will be updated with more detailed information when it becomes available. 

  1. What is the new $20,000 FHOG?
  2. What is a new home?
  3. What is regional Victoria?
  4. What are the key dates you need to know?
  5. What types of home/construction qualify?
  6. Who will qualify?

1. What is the new $20,000 FHOG?

The current First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is a payment of $10,000 available to eligible first-home buyers who buy or build their new home valued up to $750,000.

The new, increased FHOG payment of $20,000 is for first-home buyers who buy or build their new home valued up to $750,000 in regional Victoria

2. What is a new home?

A new home includes:

  1. A newly built home,
  2. An existing property which is being sold for the first time as a new residential premises,
  3. A land and building package, or
  4. Vacant land on which you will build a new home

Eligible first-home buyers in metropolitan Melbourne will continue to receive the $10,000 FHOG and other applicable assistance.

All first-home buyers in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria must still meet the other FHOG eligibility criteria.

3. What is regional Victoria? 

This change affects first-home buyers who buy or build a new home on land in the following municipal councils: 

Table of municipal councils in regional Victoria

Municipal councils A-G Municipal councils G-M Municipal councils M-Y
Alpine Shire Council Greater Geelong City Council Murrindindi Shire Council
Ararat Rural City Council Greater Shepparton City Council Northern Grampians Shire Council
Ballarat City Council Hepburn Shire Council Pyrenees Shire Council
Bass Coast Shire Council Hindmarsh Shire Council Borough of Queenscliffe
Baw Baw Shire Council Horsham Rural City Council South Gippsland Shire Council
Benalla Rural City Council Indigo Shire Council Southern Grampians Shire Council
Buloke Shire Council Latrobe City Council Strathbogie Shire Council
Campaspe Shire Council Loddon Shire Council Surf Coast Shire Council
Central Goldfields Shire Council Macedon Ranges Shire Council Swan Hill Rural City Council
Colac Otway Shire Council Mansfield Shire Council Towong Shire Council
Corangamite Shire Council Mildura Rural City Council Wangaratta Rural City Council
East Gippsland Shire Council Mitchell Shire Council Warrnambool City Council
Gannawarra Shire Council Moira Shire Council Wellington Shire Council
Glenelg Shire Council Moorabool Shire Council West Wimmera Shire Council
Golden Plains Shire Council Mount Alexander Shire Council Wodonga City Council
Greater Bendigo City Council Moyne Shire Council Yarriambiack Shire Council

4. What are the key dates you need to know? 

The date you sign your contract to buy or build your new home is the key date. Settlement date is irrelevant.

The $20,000 FHOG will be applicable to:

  1. Contracts entered into from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020 for the purchase of a new home in a regional area,
  2. Comprehensive home building contracts entered into from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020 by the owner of land wholly in regional Victoria, or a person who on completion of the contract will be the owner of land wholly in regional Victoria, to have a home built on the land, and
  3. The building of a home wholly in regional Victoria if the building work commences between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2020 inclusive

If you are entitled to the FHOG but sign a contract for a first home in regional Victoria before 1 July 2017, you will not be eligible for the $20,000 payment. This is even if you settle on or after 1 July 2017. However, you will still be eligible for the $10,000 FHOG.

5. What types of home/construction qualify?

The eligible transaction can be a contract for:

  • The purchase of a new residential premises (which can be a newly built home or premises that are being sold as a new residential premises for the first time),
  • A comprehensive home building contract, or
  • The construction of a home by an owner builder

6. Who will qualify?

You will qualify if:

  • You purchase or build a new home wholly in regional Victoria,
  • Your contract is signed on or after 1 July 2017 and no later than 30 June 2020, and
  • You meet all the other FHOG eligibility criteria

Owner builders who begin building their home wholly in regional Victoria within this 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020 period and meet all the other FHOG eligibility criteria also qualify.