Incentives for public housing tenants
Across the country there are several schemes available to assist public housing tenants to purchase either the home they are in, or another public housing home. The loan product is similar to those available for private home buyers with low deposit requirements and reduced mortgage insurance and fees.
These schemes include the State Housing Loan in Queensland, the Streets Ahead Incentive Program in Tasmania and the Home Buyer Incentive in the Northern Territory.
Shared equity schemes for public housing tenants
Shared Equity is a variation on the theme. Offered by state governments, shared equity arrangements seek to support a home buyer by reducing the upfront amount they need to borrow. This is generally reduced to around 70 per cent of the house and land price, with the government retaining ownership of the remaining 30 per cent.
This option is available in several states for public housing tenants. There are varied timeframes and options for an owner to buy the remaining 30 per cent equity over time.
Again this type of loan follows the trend of being a low deposit loan for the lower amount, with reduced fees and mortgage insurance requirements.
The schemes on offer include the Pathway Shared Equity Loan in Queensland, the Shared Equity Scheme in the ACT, HomeShare in Tasmania, the HomeStart Shared Equity Loan in South Australia and the KeyStart SharedStart Home Loan in Western Australia.
Grants and concessions
First Home Owner Grant
For most of the last decade the First Home Owner Grant has been available for the construction of a new home in all states and territories. The amount varies between states, and the value of the home eligible for the rebate also varies. There are no income limitations to the grant.
Currently the First Home Owner Grant ranges from $7,000 in the ACT, up to $20,000 in Tasmania and regional Victoria and $26,000 in the Northern Territory.
Stamp duty concessions
Stamp duty (or transfer duty) applies to buying both new homes and existing homes. The majority of states offer a concession or an exemption for the payment of stamp duty to first home buyers. These concessions apply for both new and existing homes in most states, but are limited to existing homes in the Northern Territory and new homes in the ACT.
When combined, these incentives can provide valuable support for low and moderate income households to buy their first home. HIA will continue to work with federal and state governments to ensure that these types of alternative pathways towards home ownership remain available to assist more Australians to enter the housing market. Having a secure place to call home through home ownership remains a fundamental part of the fabric of Australian society.