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Expanding Australia’s First Home Guarantee: Siblings and Friends Included in the Eligibility Criteria


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Natalie Tan

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Key changes to be introduced from July 1st 2023

  • Expansion of Australia’s first home guarantee and related housing schemes
  • The definition of a “couple” expanded to include siblings, parents and children, and friends
  • Eligibility extended to individuals who have previously owned a home but experienced financial hardship
  • Government acts as a guarantor, allowing for a minimum deposit of 5% and avoiding lender’s mortgage insurance
  • Inclusion of Australian permanent residents in the eligibility criteria

For those aspiring to own a home in Australia, it’s important to stay informed about updates to housing programs. The government has recently made significant changes to three programs: the first home guarantee, regional first home guarantee, and family home guarantee. These changes, which will come into effect from 1st July, aim to broaden the eligibility criteria and make it easier for more Australians to achieve their dream of owning a home. Notably, the expansion will introduce siblings and friends into the definition of a “couple,” allowing them to apply for these schemes together, extending the previous definition being limited to married and de facto couples.

Expanding Eligibility Criteria

Previously, the term “couple” referred exclusively to married or de facto relationships. However, under the revised criteria, the definition will be expanded to encompass “any two eligible individuals.” This means that siblings, parent and child pairs, or even two friends who meet the eligibility requirements will now be able to take advantage of the first home guarantee.

This expansion of eligibility criteria is a significant step forward, recognising the changing dynamics of modern households and the increasing trend of friends and family members pooling their resources together in order to enter the property market. It acknowledges the importance of strong relationships beyond traditional marital or de facto partnerships, allowing more Australians to access the benefits of government assistance in securing their first home, as well as providing relief to single people looking to enter the market.

Support for Previous Homeowners

Additionally, the revised criteria will extend eligibility to individuals who have previously owned a home, provided they haven’t owned one within the last 10 years. This provision aims to support those who may have experienced financial hardship in the past but are now seeking another opportunity to enter the property market.

Government as Guarantor

One of the major advantages of these housing schemes is that the Australian federal government will act as a guarantor, enabling eligible individuals to purchase a house with a deposit as low as 5% and avoid the costly burden of lender’s mortgage insurance. This financial relief can make a significant difference for many prospective homeowners, especially first-time buyers who often face challenges in saving for a large deposit.

Expanded Eligibility for Permanent Residents

Further to the changes being introduced in July, the eligibility criteria will no longer be restricted to Australian citizens alone. Australian permanent residents will now also be eligible to apply for these schemes, further widening the pool of potential beneficiaries and ensuring that more individuals can access the support they need to achieve their homeownership goals.

Allocation of Spots

Under the expanded schemes, there will be a total of 35,000 first homebuyer spots available each year, with 10,000 allocated for the regional first homebuyer guarantee and 5,000 for the family home guarantee. This allocation aims to ensure that Australians across various regions and household types have equal opportunities to enter the property market and secure their first home.

Empowering Aspiring Homeowners

The expansion of Australia’s first home guarantee and related housing schemes reflects the government’s recognition of the diverse ways in which Australians approach homeownership. By including siblings and friends as eligible individuals, the government is empowering more people to join forces, pool their resources, and embark on the journey of homeownership together. These changes not only broaden the possibilities for potential homeowners, but also foster a sense of community and shared responsibility in achieving this significant milestone.

Take Advantage of the Opportunity

Those looking at getting into the housing market for the first time (or re-entering the market) are encouraged to research and understand for themselves the revised eligibility criteria and seek professional advice an experienced mortgage broker or financial expert to determine how they can take advantage of these schemes. The opportunity to secure a home with the assistance of the government’s guarantee and favourable lending terms can be a game-changer in realising the dream of homeownership.

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