Am I eligible?

Funding will be available for up to 400 first home buyers who meet the pilot scheme’s eligibility criteria.

Even if you meet all of the eligibility criteria, your application to participate in HomesVic may not be successful.

To be eligible, applicants must:

General

  • be an Australian citizen or have permanent-resident status;
  • have been residing in Victoria for the past two years;
  • be aged 18 years or older;
  • be a ‘natural person’ (that is, not an organisation, company, trust, or other body); and
  • not be related to, or associated with, the vendor of the property being purchased.

Maximum income

  • an applicant must have gross ‘assessable income’ and ‘exempt income’  (as defined in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth)) of no more than $75,000 per annum ; or
  • if the applicant is applying on behalf of a Multiple person household, each applicant and each Included Adult must have in aggregate a gross ‘assessable income’ and ‘exempt income’  (as defined in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth)) of no more than $95,000.

A Multiple person household means any household which has more than one person ordinarily residing in the Property, including a couple, a single person with a dependent(s), a single person with a non-dependent(s), families and two or more non-related persons living together (the latter excluding any persons leasing or licensing part or all of the Property unless that licensee is a Related Person).

Included Adult means any person aged 18 years or older who is ordinarily residing in the same household as the applicant at the time of the application and who intends to reside with the Participant in the shared equity dwelling should the applicant be successful in acquiring a shared equity dwelling under HomesVic.  

First home buyers

  • be acquiring the dwelling as their principal place of residence; and
  • not currently own, or have previously owned (legally or beneficially) (and not have a spouse (married or de facto) who currently owns (legally or beneficially), or has previously owned) a residential property, in whole or in part.

Property type

The property must be:

  • a standard residential property (for example, a house, townhouse, unit) that is either an existing home or a new home construction for which completion is planned to occur within three months of entering into a contract of sale;
  • be of the Designated Type (as specified in the letter of provisional approval to be issued by the State); and
  • located in the Designated Area (also as specified in the letter of provisional approval).

Scheme term

The Government’s proportional beneficial interest will need to be paid by the earlier of either:

  1. the initial duration of the home loan with the panel financier (plus six months); or
  2. two years from within repayment of the home loan if the home loan is paid off early.

Other changes in the household’s circumstances may also trigger a requirement to pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest at an earlier point in time.

Financial requirements

Arranging Finance

To participate in the scheme, the applicant must secure a home loan from a panel financial institution. As a first step, the applicant must secure in-principle or conditional loan approval. The Government will not assess the application before this has occurred.

The following additional financial requirements apply:

Deposit

  • The applicant(s) must have a deposit of at least 5% accumulated through genuine savings, which is to be contributed towards the purchase price of the property; and
  • The deposit must not be used for other ordinary transaction costs such as conveyancing, legal costs, building inspections, or stamp duty (if applicable) – these additional costs must be met by the applicant in addition to the 5% deposit required. Transaction costs are not to be financed through the home loan.

Bank loan requirements

  • the maximum loan duration is 30 years;
  • the home loan may be either variable or a fixed-rate of interest;
  • the home loan must include principal and interest repayments (interest-only home loans and lines of credit are excluded) and be fully amortised over the loan term;
  • the home loan must be a new loan (renewals and refinancing are excluded);
  • the home loan must have either an offset account or a redraw facility; and
  • the amount of the principal and interest loan repayments at commencement of the home loan must not exceed 37% of the total taxable income of the applicant(s).

Other loans

The applicant(s) must not have existing loans or debts (other than HELP) in the aggregate in excess of $10,000. This debt limit includes the credit card limit (as opposed to credit card balance) on any credit card(s) in the name of the applicant(s).  

HELP means debt incurred under the Higher Education Loan Program which is treated as HELP debt by the Australian Taxation Office.

Staying with the scheme

Participants selected for the HomesVic scheme will need to maintain their eligibility to remain in the scheme.

Participants will be required to advise the HomesVic team if there has been a change in their circumstances that mean they no longer meet the eligibility criteria. In addition, the HomesVic team will conduct annual reviews.

Annual reviews

Once a year, participants will be asked to provide key information to verify their continuing eligibility and compliance with their obligations and commitments under the HomesVic pilot. Amongst other things, this will include proof of income and a declaration that there are no changes in circumstances that have breached or may in the future be reasonably expected to breach any of the eligibility criteria or breach obligations.

Additionally, there will be background checks to confirm there have been no actions by the participants such as the purchase of an investment property, that mean that the eligibility criteria and the participant’s obligations and commitments are no longer met.

Increases in income

Increases in income are good news. They may provide the opportunity for the participant to more rapidly pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest, which would enable the Government to assist additional households. In some cases, payment of some of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest will be mandatory.

Other changes in circumstances

Changes in circumstances, such as a move interstate, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. For example, in the case of a temporary, short-term relocation, it may be acceptable for the participant to rent out the property and then return. For a longer-term or permanent relocation, the proportional beneficial interest would need to be paid by the participant within six months.