Tax and legal advice

First home owner grants: What are the changes happening across Australia?

LiaMontgomery  70x60The start of July saw a whole host of changes to the nation's First Home Owner Grants (FHOG).

Blogger: Lisa Montgomery, finance expert, Resi Mortgage Corporation

This could be essential information for anyone interested in taking out a mortgage and purchasing their first property in the near future. These funds can be of great assistance when trying to achieve your real estate goals, especially for young couples hoping to buy their first home together.

What is a First Home Owner Grant?
In Australia, there are a number of opportunities for first home buyers to secure financial help when looking to purchase their first property. The First Home Owner Grant is one of the main grants offered by states across the nation. The amount of the grant offered varies between states, but the basics remain the same: it is financial aid offered by state governments for buyers looking to purchase or build their first home in order to help stimulate the economy and encourage buyers to purchase property.

The scheme was created to help offset higher housing prices and costs following the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), with the FHOG offering a one-off lump sum payment to aid the purchase of property.

What are the new changes?
The basic changes occurring across the nation vary between the different states. For example, eligible buyers in New South Wales can receive $15,000 funding for new homes valued up to $750,000, while Victorian applicants can apply for a $10,000 grant to help fund the purchase or construction of their new home. Furthermore, Queensland buyers can seek $15,000 to help fund the purchase or construction of property.

There are a number of changes occurring across all of Australia's states. As a first home buyer, it could be worth investigating the options available to you in your local region in order to secure the financial aid on offer.

What are the differences between an established home and a new property?
The main differences that need to be observed when applying for a FHOG across Australia are now concerning whether the property is new or established. Effectively, many of the grants will only apply to buyers looking into either building their own home from scratch or purchasing a recently constructed home that has never previously been occupied.

This is in contrast to established properties, which are defined as previously occupied homes. Furthermore, some states are willing to extend funding to radically renovated homes, where major changes have been made to a large portion of the house.


About Lisa Montgomery
LiaMontgomery  340x408With a career spanning 30 years, Lisa Montgomery is a respected leader, communicator and consumer advocate within the Australian financial services industry and is a regular commentator on Sky News and Sky News Business Channels and a frequent host on the live to air program – Your Money, Your Call. Lisa is currently the head of communications for award winning, Australian non-bank lender, Resi Mortgage Corporation.

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
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  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
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  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
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The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

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Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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