Frequently asked questions

To assist with your understanding of the HomesVic scheme, frequently asked questions have been prepared. Should you seek further information with respect to those answers or have other questions, please contact the HomesVic team by phone on 1800 290 780. Alternatively, you may contact your choice of panel financier where your question relates specifically to your home loan application.

  1. What is HomesVic?
  2. What is shared equity?
  3. How will financial institutions be involved?
  4. What is the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions?
  5. Do I/we have to use a financial institution from the HomesVic panel?
  6. When will applications for HomesVic open?
  7. How many households will the HomesVic pilot support?
  8. May I/we participate in HomesVic even if I do not meet all of the eligibility criteria?
  9. I currently have a loan of more than $10,000 (other than HELP). Am I eligible to participate in HomesVic?
  10. I currently have a credit card limit of more than $10,000 but I have only a $2,000 outstanding balance on that credit card. Am I eligible to participate in HomesVic?
  11. Are there limitations on where I/we may purchase a dwelling using HomesVic?
  12. May I/we use HomesVic to buy an established home?
  13. May I/we use HomesVic to buy a new home?
  14. Am I/we eligible to receive the First Home Owner Grant under HomesVic?
  15. Am I/we required to pay stamp duty as a first home buyer under HomesVic?
  16. Am I/we required to pay land tax as a first home buyer under HomesVic?
  17. How do I / we apply for HomesVic?
  18. What are the documentation requirements to apply under HomesVic for provisional Government approval?
  19. Am I/we able to pre-register my interest in participating in the HomesVic scheme, after it is formally launched but before applications open?
  20. How long after I /we submit an application will provisional Government approval be granted?
  21. What is the process if I am/we are granted provisional approval?
  22. What is the information session intended to achieve?
  23. Where will the information sessions be held?
  24. What happens when I/we sign a contract of sale?
  25. What is the process if I am/we are assigned final approval by HomesVic?
  26. Are there any restrictions on the sale methodology to acquire a shared equity dwelling under HomesVic?
  27. What is a related person?
  28. What happens if I am/we are unable to enter into a contract of sale to purchase a dwelling within the allotted timeframes?
  29. What are my/our rights if my/our application is not approved?
  30. If I was / we were to apply for HomesVic and was not accepted by Government, would this impact my/our credit score?
  31. When am I/are we required to repay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest?
  32. How do I/we exit HomesVic?
  33. Is there a clause in the HomesVic contract requiring me/us to live in the property for a certain number of years before I am/we are permitted are sell it if circumstances have changed and I/we need to move away to another area/region?
  34. What are the procedures for selling a dwelling acquired under HomesVic?
  35. How are sale proceeds of HomesVic dwellings distributed amongst the first mortgage provider, the Victorian Government and myself, as the participant?
  36. What happens to a shared equity dwelling that was previously purchased and is now being sold by the participant through a competitive sales process, if the highest offer is below the reserve set by the participant?
  37. May a participant in HomesVic refinance their home loan?
  38. What happens if a participant in HomesVic loses their job or suffers other financial hardship?
  39. If a single person is accepted into and acquires a dwelling through HomesVic and then subsequently gets married or enters into a defacto relationship in the future, what happens?
  40. I have purchased a HomesVic dwelling under my name only. Should I die before the Government’s proportional beneficial interest has been paid, is it possible to transfer the HomesVic dwelling to my defacto partner/children/siblings?
  41. Can I/we rent out my/our property?
  42. May I/we undertake renovations?
  43. Would the Government be willing to increase its proportional beneficial interest to enable me/us, as a participant to undertake renovations of my/our shared equity dwelling?
  44. Can I apply if I am on a probation period with an employer?
  45. Can seasonal workers qualify for a loan?
  46. I/we have saved a 5% deposit although only a portion of this is through genuine savings. Am I/are we eligible?
  47. What are 'genuine savings'?
  48. Are shares and stocks considered as 'genuine savings'?
  49. How long are applicants required to prove that they have been saving to be eligible for HomesVic?
  50. I/we have saved a 5% deposit but I am/we are unable to pay for the acquisition costs. Am I/are we still eligible?
  51. Can I/we provide a deposit bigger than the minimum 5%?
  52. Are there any debt limits above which I/we would not be eligible to participate in HomesVic?
  53. Has shared equity been used anywhere else in Australia? Has it been effective?
  54. Do I/we have to pay interest on the Government’s proportional beneficial interest?
  55. What happens if my/our income is initially within the scheme’s income thresholds but has subsequently increased to exceed the income thresholds?
  56. I would like to pay some of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest. How is the value of the proportional beneficial interest determined at that time?

1. What is HomesVic?

HomesVic is the Victorian Government’s shared equity pilot program that was announced as part of the Homes for Victorians housing strategy.

2. What is shared equity?

Shared equity involves the Government, or another entity, providing a contribution to a participant to facilitate that participant entering into home ownership. In exchange for the shared equity monies, the Government will acquire a corresponding proportional beneficial interest in the shared equity dwelling.

Shared equity seeks to address two key barriers to entry for Victorians who would like to become home owners:

  • the difficulty of saving an ever increasing deposit while paying rent; and
  • insufficient capacity to service a large loan that would have otherwise been required to enter home ownership.

Under HomesVic, the Government will provide a contribution of up to 25% of the acquisition price on behalf of participants. Participants will need to have contributed at least 5% of the acquisition price through genuine savings and fund the other costs of acquisition, including conveyancing, legal costs, building inspections and stamp duty (if applicable). The balance of the acquisition price is to be secured through a home loan from a panel financier on the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions (that is either Bank Australia or Bendigo Bank).

3. How will financial institutions be involved?

The Victorian Government has pre-selected a Panel of Financial Institutions comprising Bank Australia and Bendigo Bank to provide home loans to participants, which in their assessment are able to maintain home ownership and service a mortgage, including making payments for interest and relevant charges, as well as principal repayments.

Participants that would like to participate in the scheme will need to secure in-principle or conditional loan approval from a financial institution from the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions before securing unconditional approval from that financier.

4.  What is the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions?

The HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions is a list of pre-selected banks, building societies and/or credit unions that have agreed with the Victorian Government to a broad set of terms and conditions upon which they may provide a home loan to participants. The panel comprises Bank Australia and Bendigo Bank.

5. Do I/we have to use a financial institution from the HomesVic panel?

Yes. To participate in HomesVic, applicants are required to secure in-principle loan approval and final approval for a home loan from a panel financier on the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions. Applicants are not permitted to seek finance from other financial institutions that are not on the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions for the purpose of purchasing the shared equity dwelling.

6. When will applications for HomesVic open?

Applications for HomesVic through Expressions of Interest opened at 9:00am on Monday 19 February 2018. If you are interested in participating in HomesVic, it is strongly recommended that you apply as quickly as you can. Given the scheme is a pilot, there are only limited places available and allocations will be made on a first come first served basis.

It is important to note that in the event of strong demand, panel financiers may stop taking Expressions of Interest at different times. This will be advised directly by the panel financier through its website. If your chosen choice of panel financier stops taking Expressions of Interest, you may like to consider applying through the other panel financier

In the unlikely event that the website of your preferred panel financier becomes unavailable, we recommend you consider using the website of the other panel financier.

7. How many households will the HomesVic pilot support?

The HomesVic pilot will seek to assist up to 400 households enter into home ownership for the first time. A $50 million allocation is provided for the pilot scheme. Recognising that this is a pilot scheme, a considered balance has been made between the expected level of contribution and the number of people that can be assisted.

8. May I/we participate in HomesVic even if I do not meet all of the eligibility criteria?

No. Only applicants who meet all of the eligibility criteria will be considered for the HomesVic shared equity pilot program.  Applicants who do not meet all of the HomesVic eligibility criteria but would like to participate in a shared equity program may like to consider the suitability of BuyAssist’s shared equity program. BuyAssist is a wholly owned subsidiary of the not for profit National Affordable Housing Consortium. 

9.  I currently have a loan of more than $10,000 (other than HELP). Am I eligible to participate in HomesVic?

No. Applicants must not have existing loans or debts (other than HELP) in excess of $10,000. If you would like to participate in the HomesVic scheme, you will need to reduce your existing loans or debts to $10,000 by the time you submit an application.

10. I currently have a credit card limit of more than $10,000 but I have only a $2,000 outstanding balance on that credit card. Am I eligible to participate in HomesVic?

No. If you would like to participate in the HomesVic scheme, you should speak to your credit card provider and reduce your limit to so that all your existing loans, debts and revised credit card limit(s) are in aggregate $10,000 or below.

11. Are there limitations on where I/we may purchase a dwelling using HomesVic?

HomesVic will apply in 30 priority areas across Victoria, spanning 85 suburbs in metropolitan Melbourne, 130 towns and suburbs in and around key regional centres and 7 peri-urban towns. Priority has been afforded dwellings in areas with high demand for housing and good access to employment, public transport and other services.

A full list of the priority areas and the associated suburbs and towns is located in the Preferred Locations page on the HomesVic website.

12. May I/we use HomesVic to buy an established home?

Yes, HomesVic may be used to purchase an established dwelling.

13. May I/we use HomesVic to buy a new home?

Yes in limited circumstances. HomesVic may be used to purchase a new home that is recently completed or nearing completion and will have a certificate of occupancy within three months from the date of signing a contract of sale with the developer / builder.

14. Am I/we eligible to receive the First Home Owner Grant under HomesVic?

Participants will be subject to the prevailing policy settings for the first home owner grant at the time of settlement for the HomesVic dwelling. That is, no special arrangements will apply for HomesVic in relation to the First Home Owner Grant.

The Homes for Victorians policy document announced the grant would be set at $10,000 for those purchasing new dwellings in metropolitan Melbourne and $20,000 for those purchasing new dwellings in regional Victoria, from 1 July 2017. Established dwellings are ineligible for the first home owner grant.

15. Am I/we required to pay stamp duty as a first home buyer under HomesVic?

Participants will be subject to the prevailing stamp duty policy settings at the time of settlement at the full cost of the HomesVic dwelling. That is, no special arrangements will apply for HomesVic in relation to stamp duty.

The Homes for Victorians policy document announced that from 1 July 2017, first home buyers who purchase a home valued at under $600,000 would not be required to pay stamp duty. First home buyers who purchase a home valued between $600,000 and $750,000 will pay reduced stamp duty.

16. Am I/we required to pay land tax as a first home buyer under HomesVic?

Participants will be subject to the prevailing land tax policy settings throughout the occupation period. That is, no differential arrangements will apply for HomesVic in relation to land tax.

Based on current policy settings, all dwellings that are occupied as the principal place of residence are exempt from land tax.

17. How do I / we apply for HomesVic?

Applications opened at 9:00am on Monday 19 February 2018. To start the application process, eligible applicants will be invited to submit electronically an Expression Of Interest with their chosen panel financier on the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions (that is Bank Australia or Bendigo Bank).

First, you will need to complete and submit an Expression of Interest to your choice of panel financier (that is, either Bank Australia or Bendigo Bank). You will receive immediate receipt of submitting an Expression Of Interest indicating that the panel financier has successfully received it. All Expressions of Interest will be date and time stamped when submitted to the panel financier.

Once you have submitted your Expression of Interest, you will need to complete and submit to your choice of panel financier a HomesVic Application form and a home loan application. You are not permitted to submit a home loan application form prior to submitting the Expression Of Interest form.

Once the panel financier gives conditional approval for the loan, the panel financier will forward the application to the HomesVic team.

If you are interested in participating in HomesVic, it is strongly recommended that you complete and submit an Expression of Interest as quickly as you can once applications open. Given the scheme is a pilot, there are only limited places available and allocations will be made on a first come first served basis.

The Expression of Interest, HomesVic application and loan application forms can be accessed and submitted on the website of your choice of panel financier. The website address for:

Samples of the Expression of Interest and HomesVic application forms can be viewed at the HomesVic website (homesvic.vic.gov.au). However, it is important to note that you cannot fill out or submit the Expression of Interest or HomesVic application forms on the HomesVic website. It must be done on the website of your choice of panel financier.

18. What are the documentation requirements to apply under HomesVic for provisional Government approval?

Eligible applicants seeking to apply for HomesVic are required to complete the HomesVic Expression of Interest form, the HomesVic application form to demonstrate their eligibility, and a home loan application. Supporting documentation will be required. The Expression of Interest and HomesVic application forms can be found on the Bank Australia and Bendigo Bank websites. A sample of the two forms is also on the HomesVic website.

19. Am I/we able to pre-register my interest in participating in the HomesVic scheme, after it is formally launched but before applications open?

No. Pre-registrations are now closed. Pre-registrations did not form part of the application process and will not be used to inform the evaluation of applications. Pre-registration does not provide any advantage or disadvantage for those who registered as compared to those who did not register.

Irrespective of whether you registered or did not register, those who would like to participate in the HomesVic scheme, must follow the application process as outlined in the How do I apply section of this website.

20.  How long after I /we submit an application will provisional Government approval be granted?

Applicants will be notified within approximately five weeks of completing a home loan application and completing and submitting a HomesVic application form with the applicant’s choice of panel financiers.

21. What is the process if I am/we are granted provisional approval?

Applicants who receive provisional approval will be advised in writing. This letter will identify amongst other things the priority area and dwelling typology they have been designated and the maximum amount of shared equity moneys they may be eligible to receive from Government, pending the satisfaction of certain conditions.

Applicants will be have six months to locate, inspect and identify a preferred dwelling(s) and successfully enter into a contract of sale for a dwelling of the designated typology and within the designated area.

Before a contract of sale is entered into, applicants who have received provisional approval are required to attend an information session with the HomesVic team. In addition, the participant will need to negotiate with the vendor’s real estate agent the provision of a 5% deposit on entering into a contract of sale to purchase the dwelling. The participant will have a letter indicating their allocation within the scheme, which will help with this. If the vendor does not accept a 5% deposit, the participant will need to contact the HomesVic team.

22. What is the information session intended to achieve?

The information session is intended to provide an overview of the HomesVic Program to increase your understanding of your roles, rights and obligations. It will also provide you with a forum to ask any questions that you may have and listen to the questions that other applicants may have.

23. Where will the information sessions be held?

The information sessions will be held in various priority areas, spanning metropolitan Melbourne, regional centres and peri-urban towns. Further details on the timing and location of information sessions will be uploaded on to the HomesVic website from mid March 2018.

24. What happens when I/we sign a contract of sale?

Within approval limits from the panel financier and the Government, the participant will, upon purchase of a property, need to pay the deposit at the time of entering into the contract of sale to purchase that property. 

The participant will need to let both the panel financier and the HomesVic team know they have made the purchase, so that preparations for settlement can be made. In particular, within five business days the participant will need to provide a copy of the executed contract of sale to the panel financier. Within the same timeframe, the participant will also need to sign and return the Participation Agreement and the Program Mortgage to the Program Administrative Entity.

25. What is the process if I am/we are assigned final approval by HomesVic?

Upon receiving approval, the applicant will need to secure unconditional approval from the panel financier for the home loan other than standard conditions relating to settlement. The applicant will also need to send a request to the HomesVic team to request the funds well ahead of the scheduled settlement date. The precise timing and other requirements will be outlined in the letter of final approval to be issued by the Department of Treasury and Finance.

26. Are there any restrictions on the sale methodology to acquire a shared equity dwelling under HomesVic?

No. Any standard sales methodology that is accepted within the real estate industry may be used. However, all purchases of shared equity dwellings and subsequent sale of those dwellings must be at arm’s length to the participant. Related person transactions are prohibited and penalties apply.

27.  What is a related person?

A related person means a person or entity who is related to, or associated with, the Participant, including:

a)  relatives of the Participant by birth or marriage (including parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, lineal descendants or adopted children of the Participant or their spouse, and the spouse or civil partner of any of those people);

b)  business partners of the Participant;

c)  spouses, civil partners or children of such business partners;

d) any company that the Participant (or any person listed in paragraphs (a) to (c) above (inclusive)) controls or can influence; and

e) the trustees of any trust controlled by a Participant (or any person listed in paragraphs (a) to (c) above (inclusive)) or of which the Participant is a beneficiary or member.

28. What happens if I am/we are unable to enter into a contract of sale to purchase a dwelling within the allotted timeframes?

If by the end of the six month period the applicant is unable to enter into a contract of sale, the Victorian Government retains the right to rescind the final approval. In exercising this right, consideration will be first given to any exceptional circumstances that may have affected the ability of the applicant to enter into a contract of sale within the allotted time. If exceptional circumstances have existed, the Victorian Government may elect to extend the period in which an applicant is required to enter into a contract of sale. Any such extension is at the absolute discretion of the Victorian Government.

It is strongly recommended that if you are having trouble entering into a contract of sale within the allotted period, you contact the HomesVic team by phone on 1800 290 780.

29.  What are my/our rights if my/our application is not approved?

You may be entitled to reapply for any future tranches of the HomesVic program.

You are entitled to seek a written explanation of the decision from the HomesVic team. Should you be unsatisfied with the explanation from the HomesVic team you may request the Victorian Ombudsman to review the decision making process in relation to your application.

30. If I was / we were to apply for HomesVic and was not accepted by Government, would this impact my/our credit score?

The process to apply for a loan from a panel financier institution on the HomesVic Panel of Financial Institutions will result in a credit report for the applicant being generated or updated. The updating of the applicant’s credit report may result in the applicant’s credit score being amended to reflect circumstances since the last credit report. However, acceptance or otherwise by Government is unlikely to affect an applicant’s credit score.

31. When am I/are we required to repay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest?

Participants will be required to repay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest within  the initial duration of the home loan with the panel financier (plus six months), or two years from repayment of the home loan if the home loan is paid off early.

Participants may be required to pay the proportional beneficial interest early if they breach the terms and conditions of the Participation Agreement or Program Mortgage.

32. How do I/we exit HomesVic?

Prior to entering into a contract of sale to purchase a dwelling under HomesVic, an eligible applicant may withdraw its application at any time, by notifying  the HomesVic team in writing.

Once a contract of sale is entered into (and subject to any cooling off period and/or all conditions of the contract of sale, if conditional, being met), the participant is required to hold the dwelling as their principal place of residence for at least two years, unless exceptional circumstances occur, as agreed with the HomesVic team. The HomesVic team will not be unreasonably withheld agreement to exceptional circumstances.

Participants who have bought a dwelling under HomesVic may elect to exit the program by either selling the dwelling or paying the Government’s proportional beneficial interest over time. The latter can be done through a variety of means, including through refinancing the home loan (pending approval from the panel financier who provided that home loan) or subsequently accumulated savings, gifts received or inheritances, for example.

33. Is there a clause in the HomesVic contract requiring me/us to live in the property for a certain number of years before I am/we are permitted are sell it if circumstances have changed and I/we need to move away to another area/region?

Participants are not permitted to sell their HomesVic dwelling within two years of settling their dwelling, unless exceptional circumstances occur, as agreed with the HomesVic team. The HomesVic team will not be unreasonably withheld agreement to exceptional circumstances.

34. What are the procedures for selling a dwelling acquired under HomesVic?

Once you have decided to sell your HomesVic shared equity dwelling, you must notify the HomesVic team (and the provider of your home loan) at least 45 days prior to sale. You are then encouraged to engage a real estate agent who can advise you of the most appropriate sales methodology and sales campaign strategy for your dwelling. You are required to sell your dwelling via an arm’s length process. You may not sell your dwelling to a related party. You will be required to meet the full costs of selling your dwelling, including any upfront costs.

35. How are sale proceeds of HomesVic dwellings distributed amongst the first mortgage provider, the Victorian Government and myself, as the participant?

The first call on sale proceeds is to meet reasonable sales costs, including but not limited to payments to the real estate agent, advertising agency and legal costs. The net sale proceeds after these costs will first be used to discharge the home loan with the panel financier and then the Government’s proportional beneficial interest. Any balance (equivalent to the purchaser’s residual equity) would then be distributed to the participant who has just sold the dwelling.

36. What happens to a shared equity dwelling that was previously purchased and is now being sold by the participant through a competitive sales process, if the highest offer is below the reserve set by the participant?

Should the arm’s length, competitive sales process yield a highest offer below the reserve set by the participant, then the participant may elect to hold out for a higher offer, accept the highest offer or withdraw the property from sale.

In the case of mortgagee repossession of the participant’s shared equity dwelling, the panel financier will be responsible for making decisions on the sales process and associated outcomes.

37.  May a participant in HomesVic refinance their home loan?

Yes. Participant may refinance their home loan with either of Bank Australia or Bendigo Bank as the panel financiers subject to the approval of that panel financier. However, even under a refinanced home loan, participants will not be permitted to increase their borrowings, except in limited circumstances as approved by the HomesVic team or as otherwise permitted by the hardship provisions contained in the Consumer Credit Legislation. For instance the participant may refinance part or all of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest. Participants are not permitted to refinance with a financial institution that is not on the Panel of Financial Institutions unless it forms part of a strategy to exit HomesVic as approved by the HomesVic team.

38. What happens if a participant loses their job or suffers other financial hardship?

The participant is required to advise the HomesVic team and the panel financier which has provided the home loan as soon as practicable. The participant should discuss their options with their financial institution, noting that the participant is afforded certain protections under the National Credit Code.

39. If a single person is accepted into and acquires a dwelling through HomesVic and then subsequently gets married or enters into a defacto relationship in the future, what happens?

The married couple or defacto couple will be assessed based on their combined income. If their combined income is within the income threshold for multiple person households, then there is no change in the requirements under HomesVic (other than reporting obligations). However, they will be invited but not obliged to pay part of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest as their circumstances permit.

If their combined income exceeds the income threshold for multiple person households, they will be provided a two year grace period before they are required to have paid all or part of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest, as their circumstances permit. Within the two year grace period, the participant will be invited but not obliged to pay all or part of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest.

40. I have purchased a HomesVic dwelling under my name only. Should I die before the Government’s proportional beneficial interest has been paid, is it possible to transfer the HomesVic dwelling to my defacto partner/children/siblings?

Yes, it is possible to transfer a HomesVic dwelling in the unfortunate event that the titleholder dies. Where the beneficiaries comply with the scheme’s eligibility criteria and intend to use the dwelling as their principal place of residence, the Government’s proportional beneficial interest would remain in place for the balance of the contract period. Where one or more of the beneficiaries do not comply with the scheme’s eligibility criteria, that beneficiary/those beneficiaries would be required to pay the relevant percentage of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest.

41. Can I/we rent out my/our property?

The participant is required to occupy the dwelling as their principal place of residence. If the participant intends to vacate the shared equity dwelling for a period of more than three months, they are required to notify the HomesVic team of their intentions and then provide reasons for the intention to vacate. The participant is not permitted to vacate the dwelling for: i) a continuous period of more than 18 months; or ii) a period of more than 30 months in aggregate over the contract term.

To the extent that the HomesVic team deems that the shared equity dwelling is no longer the principal place of residence, the HomesVic team may request the participant to pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest within six months. This can be done by refinancing the first mortgage or selling the property. In making such a request, the HomesVic team may take into account any change in the personal circumstances of the household to the extent that the change prevents the participant from occupying the dwelling as their principal place of residence.

42. May I/we undertake renovations?

Yes, participants may undertake renovations. The approval of the HomesVic team will be required for modifications which: i) cost $10,000 or more; ii) require a building or planning permit; or iii) involve a structural adjustment to the dwelling.

Modifications that reduce the value of the dwelling will not be permitted. In addition, the participant’s equity post the modification must remain at or be above that initially held at the time of purchasing the shared equity dwelling.

The impact of the proposed modifications on the value of the dwelling will be determined by the Office of the Valuer-General Victoria.

43. Would the Government be willing to increase its proportional beneficial interest to enable me/us, as a participant to undertake renovations of my/our shared equity dwelling?

No.

44. Can I apply if I am on a probation period with an employer?

All applicants who would like to participate in HomesVic need to secure in-principle loan approval from either Bank Australia or Bendigo Bank as panel financiers. Different financial institutions may have different practices in relation to employees who are on probation. Please consult your choice of panel financier.

45. Can seasonal workers qualify for a loan?

All applicants who would like to participate in HomesVic need to secure in-principle loan approval from either Bank Australia or Bendigo Bank as panel financiers. Different financial institutions may have different practices in relation to seasonal workers. Please consult your choice of panel financier.

46. I/we have saved a 5% deposit although only a portion of this is through genuine savings. Am I/are we eligible?

No. To be eligible an applicant must have accumulated a deposit of at least 5%, through genuine savings. The applicant must also meet all other eligibility criteria.

47. What are 'genuine savings'?

Genuine savings refers to savings accumulated by an applicant themselves over time. Examples of genuine savings may include bank balances, term deposits, shares and managed funds. Gifts, inheritances and bonuses are generally not considered genuine savings. As different financial institutions may have different practices in relation to genuine savings, you may like to consult your choice of panel financier.

48. Are shares and stocks considered as 'genuine savings'?

Yes, shares and stocks held in the applicant(s)’ name or that of their spouse are considered genuine savings if the original investment was made from genuine savings.

49. How long are applicants required to prove that they have been saving to be eligible for HomesVic?

Different financial institutions may have different practices in relation to genuine savings. Please consult your choice of panel financier.

50. I/we have saved a 5% deposit but I am/we are unable to pay for the acquisition costs. Am I/are we still eligible?

No. HomesVic is only available to those who have saved a 5% deposit and can meet all acquisition costs through other savings and the First Home Owner Grant if available. Please note that stamp duty concessions may apply for first home buyers.

Should you be ineligible on this basis for HomesVic, you may like to apply for the BuyAssist shared equity program being run by BuyAssist, a wholly-owned subsidiary of not-for-profit National Affordable Housing Consortium. 

51. Can I/we provide a deposit bigger than the minimum 5%?

Yes, applicants may provide more than the minimum deposit of 5% and are encouraged to do so where their circumstances permit.

52. Are there any debt limits above which I/we would not be eligible to participate in HomesVic?

An applicant will not be eligible if they have outstanding loans/debts or borrowings approvals for loans / debt greater than $10,000 (other than HELP). 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).

53. Has shared equity been used anywhere else in Australia? Has it been effective?

Shared equity programs have been operating in several other Australian jurisdictions, including South Australia (HomeStart), Tasmania (HomeShare) and Western Australia (KeyStart). Studies into shared equity indicate that they enable higher rates of home ownership.

54. Do I/we have to pay interest on the Government’s proportional beneficial interest?

No. Participants do not pay interest on the Government’s proportional beneficial interest.

55.  What happens if my/our income is initially within the scheme’s income thresholds but has subsequently increased to exceed the income thresholds?

If a participant exceeds the income thresholds for two consecutive years, then that participant will be required to pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest in whole or part as their circumstances permit. The participant will need to advise the HomesVic team of their increased income levels and then work with the panel financier that provided them their home loan or the other panel financier to determine the extent to which they can refinance to pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest in part or whole.

56. I would like to pay some of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest. How is the value of the proportional beneficial interest determined at that time?

The HomesVic team will commission an independent valuation of the shared equity dwelling at the time a participant would like to pay some or all of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest. The valuation will be undertaken by a pre-registered certified valuer on the Valuer-General Victoria’s panel of valuers. The HomesVic team will share with the participant the value of the property per the valuation assessment.

The valuation will inform the Program Provider Share and Proportional Beneficial Interest Amount calculations. Worked examples are included in the Illustrative Examples section of the HomesVic website.