Briefing: A guide to government incentives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enter the property market,”

says Tim Storey, Managing Director of Residential at Colliers.

“By presenting a range of incentives that remove the hurdle of the usual deposit – the greatest barrier for young buyers today – people who never thought they’d own their own home are achieving just that.”

But for first-time homebuyers it isn’t as simple as signing on the dotted line. This opportunity comes with a level of confusion, with recent research finding most first homebuyers are overwhelmed by the myriad of incentives on offer.

Tim says figuring a way through it is worth it:

“We are helping many buyers who have been renting in and around the CBD to purchase their first apartment, and pay less on their mortgage than they are currently paying on rent.”

Let’s take a look at what is available in Victoria.

Stamp duty savings

Stamp duty can be expensive – it’s basically a tax over and above the listing price you will pay on a home. Good news? There is no stamp duty on property under $600,000 and discounts on stamp duty for property between $600,000 and $750,000.

HomeBuilder grant

This is one of the new pandemic grants aiming to stimulate construction and is worth $25,000.

R.Iconic is one of the few apartment projects in Melbourne’s CBD fringe zone eligible for this grant. You’re eligible if:

  • You are an Australian citizen aged over 18 years
  • Your individual income is less than $125,000 per annum or your combined household income is less than $200,000 per annum
  • The home will be your principal place of residence for six months upon settlement
  • The contract price is less than $750,000
  • You sign the contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020, with construction starting within six months of the contract
  • You are registered on the certificate of title as the owner before 31 October 2022

First home owner grant

If this is your first home, you’re eligible for a $10,000 cash grant! There are some provisos:

  • Again you need to be an Australian citizen over 18 years of age
  • You need to occupy the home as your principal place of residence for at least 12 months upon settlement
  • The home must be less than five years old and valued under $750,000
  • It applies to only the first sale of the property as a residential address
  • You and your partner/spouse can only have this once, and that doesn’t mean once each!

First home loan deposit scheme

Usually first homebuyers with less than a 20 per cent deposit have to pay lenders mortgage insurance, which can add quite a bit to the cost of the property. This Federal Government scheme allows eligible first homebuyers to purchase a property with as little as a five per cent deposit, as the scheme guarantees to a participating lender up to 15 per cent of the value of the property purchased.

  • You need to have a 5 per cent deposit
  • Your property needs to cost less than $600,000
  • Again, Aussie citizens over 18 years
  • You must earn less than $125,000 per annum or your combined household income is less than $200,000 per annum
  • You will live there as your principal place of residence upon settlement for six months
  • You can’t have accessed it previously


These are the key schemes but there are also super saver schemes to help save and shared equity schemes for purchase of property in ‘priority areas’.

Colliers have a First Home Owner Guide filled with smart Q&As, links to resources and a step-by-step buying process – simply call 1300 970 650 to receive a copy.


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