HomesVic Shared Equity Initiative
OpenHomesVic applications opened on Monday 19 February 2018. The scheme is available to up to 400 households. Approximately 250 homes have now been purchased and others are progressing to realise their dream of home ownership. However, there are still places available for applicants who qualify for the scheme.
To be eligible to apply you must:
- be an Australian citizen or have permanent-resident status
- have been residing in Victoria for the past 2 years
- be aged 18 years or older
- be a ‘natural person’ (that is, not an organisation, company, trust, or other body)
- be a first home buyer. You qualify as a first home buyer if you or your spouse do not currently own or previously owned all or part of a residential property
- be buying the property as your principal place of residence
- have a deposit of at least 5% made up of genuine savings. Genuine savings means savings that you have accumulated over time. They can include shares and managed funds, if the original investment was made with genuine savings
- earn no more than $84,555 for sole person households per year, or $107,105 for multiple person households
- not have other loans or debts that add up to more than $10,000. If you have a HELP debt, that does not count towards the $10,000 limit. This debt limit includes the credit card limit on any credit card/s in your name, not the amount owing
- not be related to, or associated with, the vendor of the property being purchased
- buy a property that meets the requirements for property type and location. See the list of eligible property types and locations under How to apply
What happens if your circumstances change?
If your HomesVic application is approved you must tell us if your circumstances change and your eligibility is affected.
We will review your circumstances every year to confirm you are still eligible. As part of the annual review we will ask you for proof of income and a declaration that there have been no changes in circumstances that might mean you are no longer eligible to be part of the HomesVic shared equity initiative. We also do background checks to make sure you are still eligible, for example you haven’t bought an investment property.
If your circumstances change, we assess your change in circumstances on a case-by-case basis. For example if you are moving away temporarily for a short time, you may be able to rent out the property and then return.
If your income increases or you move away permanently you may need to pay some of the HomesVic contribution or the interest, within a timeline we specify.
HomesVic helps eligible buyers qualify for a home loan with just a 5% deposit. The scheme supports applications for a home loan with participating banks by contributing to the deposit amount to up to 25% of the property’s value.
The scheme is available to a maximum 400 applications.
When the property is sold, you pay the proportional beneficial interest to HomesVic. The Government reinvests these funds in other homes.
The proportional beneficial interest is the amount payable by the Participant to, or as directed by, the Program Provider in order to exit the HomesVic Program.
This amount takes into consideration the Program Provider's Share, the valuation of the property as determined by the Valuer General Victoria and the change in value of the property as a result of any renovations or modifications.
You must have a deposit of at least 5%, accumulated through genuine savings, of the value of the property.
You must also have enough money to cover other costs associated with buying a property. These costs are in addition to the 5% deposit and may not be financed through the home loan. The costs you need to pay could include conveyancing, legal costs, building inspections, or stamp duty (if applicable).
When the bank has assessed your home loan application, they forward the application to the HomesVic team.
The HomesVic team assesses the application and advises you by letter of the outcome within approximately 5 weeks of completing the loan application and the HomesVic application.
Letter of Provisional Approval
If your application is approved, the letter of Promisional Approval tells you what type of dwelling and the area where you can buy with HomesVic support.
The HomesVic team also tell the bank about the outcome of your application.
Mandatory information session
Before buying a property, you must attend an information session with the HomesVic team.
At the information session we provide an overview of the HomesVic program including your roles, rights and obligations under the program. The information session is also a great opportunity to ask questions and hear questions from other applicants.
Find a property to buy
Once you have been accepted into the HomesVic program, and when your loan application with the bank is approved, you can look for an approved property to buy.
Find a home within 6 months
You must find, inspect and enter into a contract of sale for a preferred home within 6 months of receiving your approval letter. The home must be in the right location and of the right type.
If you can’t enter into a contract of sale within 6 months we may revoke the approval. We can consider the circumstances and we may also be able to extend the deadline.
Choose an approved home type and location
The property must be the type and location that we allocate in the HomesVic letter of approval.
HomesVic shared equity moneys can be used to buy an existing house.
You may also be able to buy a new home that is recently completed or nearing completion. It must have a certificate of occupancy within 3 months from the date of signing a contract of sale with the developer / builder.
This restriction does not apply to Development Victoria’s Alfie project in Altona North, for which you are permitted to purchase off-the-plan.
Negotiate a 5% deposit
Before you enter into a contract of sale, you will need to negotiate a 5% deposit with the seller or their agent. Use your HomesVic letter to support your request. If the vendor does not accept a 5% deposit, contact the HomesVic team.
Buy at arm’s length
When buying a shared equity home with HomesVic approval you must make the purchase at arm’s length. You may not buy the home from a related person.
A related person means a person or an organisation that you are related to or associated with 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.
Buy the property
When you have successfully negotiated the purchase of a property, pay the deposit and enter into a contract of sale.
Within 5 business days of entering into a contract of sale you must:
- provide a copy of the executed contract of sale to the bank
- sign and return the Participation Agreement and the Program Mortgage to the HomesVic team
The property must be for an amount that is within the approval limits set by your bank. You must buy a property of the type and in a location specified in your HomesVic approval letter.
If you are eligible for HomesVic you can buy a home in a priority area on this list. We have chosen locations with high demand for housing and good access to employment, public transport and other services.
When you fill out the HomesVic Program Application form, you must choose up to 10 dwelling types and locations.
In some priority areas you can only choose a townhouse or an apartment. Read the list carefully before you apply.
First home buyers eligible for HomesVic are now able to purchase a new home off-the-plan in Altona North’s Alfie development, a residential project delivered by Development Victoria.
A number of 2-bedroom homes in Stage 1 of Alfie are available for purchase now, with settlement anticipated for early 2021. Additional homes in Stage 2 of Alfie are expected to be made available for purchase through HomesVic in the coming months. For more information, visit the .
The tables in this section show the priority areas for eligible properties under the HomesVic scheme.
Metropolitan Melbourne Houses Townhouses Apartments Altona North (the Alfie project only) n/a Stage 1 now open n/a
Fountain Gate - Narre Warren
Peri-Urban Towns All Standard Residential Properties
Bacchus Marsh (including Darley and Maddingley)
Kilmore and Wallan
Kyneton and Gisborne
Drouin and Warragul
Regional Victoria All Standard Residential Properties Ballarat Filling Bendigo Filling Castlemaine Filling Geelong Filling Latrobe City Nearly full Mildura Filling Seymour Filling Shepparton Filling Wangaratta Filling Warrnambool Filling Wodonga Filling
The Priority areas include the following suburbs:
- Box Hill Area – Box Hill, Blackburn, Nunawading and Surrey Hills
- Broadmeadows Area – Broadmeadows, Coolaroo, Dallas, Fawkner, Glenroy, Jacana, Meadow Heights and Westmeadows
- Dandenong Area – Dandenong, Doveton, Endeavour Hills, Hallam, Keysborough, Lynbrook and Noble Park
- Epping Area – Epping, Lalor, Mill Park, South Morang and Thomastown
- Fishermen’s Bend Area – Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and Southbank
- Footscray Area – Footscray, Ascot Vale, Flemington, Kensington, Seddon and West Footscray
- Fountain Gate-Narre Warren Area – Narre Warren, Berwick, Hallam, Hampton Park, Harkaway, Narre Warren North and Narre Warren South
- Frankston Area – Frankston, Karringal, Langwarrin, Carrum and Seaford
- LaTrobe Area - Bundoora, Heidelberg, Heidelberg Heights, Heidelberg West, Ivanhoe, Kingsbury, Macleod, Rosanna, Reservoir and Viewbank
- Monash Area - Clayton, Mount Waverley, Mulgrave, Notting Hill, Oakleigh and Springvale
- Pakenham Area – Pakenham and Officer
- Parkville Area – Parkville, Brunswick, Carlton, North Melbourne, Flemington, Travancore and Ascot Vale
- Ringwood Area – Ringwood, Croydon, Heathmont, Bayswater and Mitcham
- Sunshine Area - Sunshine, Albion, Braybrook, Brooklyn, Sunshine North, Sunshine West, and Tottenham
- Werribee Area – Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Point Cook, Tarneit , Williams Landing and Wyndham Vale
- Bacchus Marsh (including Darley and Maddingley)
- Kilmore and Wallan
- Kyneton and Gisborne
- Drouin and Warragul
- Ballarat Area – Ballarat Central, Alfredton, Ballarat East, Ballarat North, Black Hill, Canadian, Delacombe, Eureka, Golden Point, Invermay Park, Lake Gardens, Lake Wendouree, Lucas, Miner’s Rest, Mitchell Park, Mount Pleasant, Newington, Redan, Sebastopol, Soldiers Hill and Wendouree
- Bendigo Area – Ascot, Bendigo, Big Hill, California Gully, Eaglehawk, Eaglehawk North, East Bendigo, Epsom, Flora Hill, Golden Gully, Golden Square, Ironbark, Jackass Flat, Kangaroo Flat, Kennington, Long Gully, Maiden Gully, Mandurang, Mandurang South, North Bendigo, Quarry Hill, Spring Gully, Stratfieldsaye, Strathdale and White Hills
- Castlemaine Area – Castlemaine, Barkers Creek, Campbell’s Creek, Chewton, Golden Point, Harcourt, Mackenzie Hill and Moonlight Flat
- Geelong Area – Geelong, Armstrong Creek, Bell Park, Bell Post Hill, Belmont, Breakwater, Corio, Drumcondra, East Geelong, Geelong West, Grovedale, Highton, Marshall, Manifold Heights, Newcomb, Newtown, Norlane, North Geelong, North Shore, St Albans Park, South Geelong, Thomson, Torquay, Wandana Heights and Whittington
- Latrobe City Area – Churchill, Moe, Morwell, Newborough and Traralgon
- Mildura Area – Mildura Central, Birdwoodton, Cabarita, Cardross, Irymple, Koorlong, Merbein, Merbein West, Nichols Point, Red Cliffs, Wargan and Yelta
- Seymour Area – Seymour, Avenel, Hilldene, Mangalore, Northwood, Tallarook, Trawool and Whiteheads Creek
- Shepparton Area – Shepparton, Grahamvale, Kialla, Mooroopna, Mooroopna North, Orrvale, Shepparton East and Shepparton North
- Wangaratta Area – Wangaratta, East Wangaratta, Laceby, North Wangaratta, Oxley, Oxley Flats, Waldara, Wangandary and Wangaratta South
- Warrnambool Area – Warrnambool, Allansford, Bushfield, Dennington, Wangoom and Yangery
- Wodonga Area – Wodonga, Bandiana, Castle Creek, Leneva and West Wodonga
Paying the Government’s proportional beneficial interest
If you would like to pay some or all of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest, contact the HomesVic team. We will arrange an independent valuation. We use this valuation to calculate the Program Provider Share and Proportional Beneficial Interest Amount.
You must repay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest within the initial duration of the home loan with the bank (plus 6 months). If you pay the home loan off early you must pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest within 2 years from repayment of the home loan.
You may have to pay the proportional beneficial interest early if you breach the terms and conditions of the Participation Agreement or Program Mortgage.
Leaving the scheme
You can withdraw your application at any time before you sign a contract of sale to buy a home with HomesVic assistance. To withdraw your application, tell the HomesVic team in writing.
Once you have signed a contract of sale you must keep the property as your main home for at least 2 years, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
You can leave the program by either selling the home or paying the Government’s proportional beneficial interest.
You may not sell your HomesVic home within 2 years of settling, unless there are exceptional circumstances as agreed with the HomesVic team. The HomesVic team will not unreasonably withhold their agreement.
You can pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest by refinancing the home loan. You can also use savings, gifts or inheritances you have received.
Selling your HomesVic home
If you decide to sell your HomesVic shared equity home, you must notify the HomesVic team and your home loan provider at least 45 days prior to sale.
You must pay the costs of selling your dwelling, including any upfront costs.
Selling at arm’s length
You may not sell your dwelling to a related party. We encourage you to engage a real estate agent. They can advise you of the best approach to see. You are required to sell your home via an arm’s length process.
Distributing the proceeds of sales
The net sales proceeds are what’s left after the costs of selling the home. The costs can include payments to the real estate agent, advertising agency and legal costs. After these costs are taken out, the remaining net sale funds will be paid out in the following order:
- discharge the home loan with bank who provided your home loan
- pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest
- pay the balance to you
Selling your home - when the highest offer is below the reserve
If you are selling the home you bought with help from HomesVic and the highest offer you receive is below the reserve you set, then you can choose to hold out for a higher offer, accept the highest offer or withdraw the property from sale.
If there is a mortgagee repossession of the home you bought with help from HomesVic, the bank will make the decisions on the sales process.
Renovations and modifications to the purchased property
You can renovate the home you buy with help from HomesVic. You must get approval from HomesVic if you want to do renovations that:
- cost $10,000 or more
- need a building or planning permit
- involve a structural adjustment to the home
The Office of the Valuer-General Victoria decides how your proposed renovations will affect the value of your home. HomesVic uses this information to decide whether to approve your application to renovate.
You must not do renovations that reduce the value of the home. After your renovations your equity in the home must be the same or more than the equity you held in the home before the renovations.
How to stay eligible
After HomesVic has approved your application you need to stay eligible.
If your income increases
If your income is higher than the threshold for 2 years running then you must pay the Government’s proportional beneficial interest if your circumstances permit.
Tell the HomesVic team about your increased income. Talk to the bank that provided your home loan about whether they can refinance to pay some or all of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest.
Selling the home you bought with HomesVic shared equity
If you sell the home you bought with HomesVic shared equity, you must not sell it to a related party.
If you experience financial hardship
If you change your relationship
If your relationship changes we assess your situation based on your combined income.
If your combined income in the relationship is within the income threshold for multiple person households, then there is no change in the requirements under HomesVic. There may be changes in the reporting that HomesVic asks for.
If your combined income is higher than the income threshold for multiple person households, we give you a 2 year grace period before you need to pay all or part of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest as your circumstances permit. Within the 2 year grace period, you can pay all or part of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest.
If you die
In the unfortunate event that you die before the loan is paid off, you can arrange to transfer a home that you bought with help from HomesVic.
If your beneficiaries meet the HomesVic eligibility criteria and will use the property as their main home, the Government’s proportional beneficial interest stays in place for the time remaining on the contract period.
If one or more of the beneficiaries does not meet the HomesVic eligibility criteria, they must pay the relevant percentage of the Government’s proportional beneficial interest.
The examples below are intended to illustrate how the pilot of the HomesVic shared equity scheme may operate in a number of circumstances.
In preparing the examples, certain assumptions have been made about the interest rates that apply to a loan, changes to the value of residential property and the circumstances applying to persons who participate in the scheme including to their level of income.
While these assumptions are believed to be reasonably based at the time of preparation, the examples must not be relied upon as predicting what will occur in the future as interest rates may vary from those assumed, and by the panel financier that you use, and may increase or decrease over the course of a loan. In addition, the value of residential property may not increase in line with the examples and may go up or down and the personal circumstances of applicants may differ from that depicted.
The examples must not be treated as a recommendation that the HomesVic shared equity scheme is suitable for any particular person as no account has been taken of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person.
No guarantee is given by HomesVic, the Victorian Government, or any of their respective employees or agents that interest rates will remain at their current levels, that property values will increase or that a person's personal circumstances will necessarily improve.
Jack works in a bank earning $65,000 a year. He has been saving to buy his first home, but has been unable to save enough money to buy a suitable property.
Jack applies to HomesVic and, with the scheme’s assistance, is able to buy a property valued at $460,000.
For Jack to avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance on this property, he would ordinarily need to save a deposit of $92,000 (20% of the $460,000 purchase price). Instead, HomesVic takes a 25% proportional interest in the property for a value of $115,000, with Jack paying a 5% deposit of $23,000 – a quarter of what he would otherwise have needed to save.
It means Jack only needs to take out a loan of $322,000 on the property, making his repayments around $1,600 a month* – significantly lower than they otherwise would have been.
Jack holds the property for five years during which time his income grows to $80,000 per year. Assuming capital growth of the property of 4% per year (with a property value now at $560,000), Jack’s equity would have grown from 5% to 23% over that time, based on Jack making principal repayments on the home loan totalling $31,000 (with no advance repayments) and a remaining home loan balance of $291,000. Jack would like to pay the Government’s proportional interest. Jack approaches his home loan provider and is approved for a further loan of $140,000, which he uses to fully pay the Government’s proportional interest. Jack has successfully used the scheme to enter into and sustain home ownership and, with the Government’s funds now returned, another eligible household may be supported through the scheme.
*Estimated monthly repayment based on a loan term at an interest rate of 4.00 per cent and a monthly fee of $33 ($395 per year). Not intended to represent an actual offer available from a panel financier and noting that variable interest rates are subject to change over the life of the loan.
Laura works as a part-time teacher earning $50,000 a year. She applies to HomesVic and, with the scheme’s assistance, is able to buy a property valued at $350,000.
Laura takes out a loan of $245,000 on the property, supported by a shared equity contribution of $87,500 and a deposit of $17,500.
Two years after the purchase, Laura secures a full-time role as a teacher earning $75,000 a year, which is within the income thresholds which are indexed each year. With increased income, Laura begins to pay the Government’s proportional interest. By this stage, Laura’s equity has increased from 5% to 12%. Laura approaches her home loan provider and is permitted to increase the home loan by $60,000 based on her increased income and a revaluation of the property at $375,000. This reduces the Government’s proportional interest from 25% to 9%.
John works as a full-time farm hand earning $42,500 per year. He applies to HomesVic and, with its assistance, is able to buy a property valued at $280,000.
John takes out a loan of $196,000 on the property, supported by a shared equity contribution of $70,000 and a deposit of $14,000.
Three years after the purchase, John enters into a spousal relationship with Cindy who earns $75,000. Collectively, their income exceeds the income thresholds. The HomesVic team advises John and Cindy of the two-year grace period before they are expected to pay the Government‘s proportional interest as their circumstances permit. Within that two-year grace period, Cindy leaves the workforce for a year and then re-enters it working part time three days per week. Advising the HomesVic team of their further changed circumstances, John and Cindy are no longer required to seek arrangements to facilitate the payment of the Government’s proportional interest.
Chen is a single mother of one and works as a medical researcher earning $85,000 a year.
She applies to a panel financier and secures a loan of up to $406,000 subject to being accepted into HomesVic.
Chen is accepted into HomesVic for a shared equity contribution of $145,000 and, with her deposit of $29,000, is able to spend up to $580,000 to purchase a home. When inspecting dwellings, she finds one she likes and is able to secure it for $555,000.
In discussion with the HomesVic team and the panel financier, Chen finances this from her borrowing limit of $406,000, her deposit of $29,000 and support from HomesVic of $120,000. In exchange, the Government’s proportional interest is 21.6% of the acquisition price.
Ahmed purchases a property for $400,000 under the Program. The property was valued by the Panel Financier’s valuer at $405,000. The lower of the purchase price and the valuation is $400,000. Ahmed receives ‘Shared Equity Moneys’ under the Program totalling $100,000. The initial share held by the Government will be 25%, ie: $100,000/$400,000, expressed as a percentage.
After eight years of saving diligently, Ahmed decides to pay $30,000 early to reduce the Government’s share in his property and, at the time of making the payment, his property is valued by the VGV at $547,000 which is more than the purchase price indexed by CPI. The revised PPS will be 19.52%, ie:
= ($100,000/$400,000)-($30,000/$547,000), expressed as a percentage.
As a result of the payment, the Government’s share in Ahmed’s property has reduced by 5.48%.
Subsequently at year fourteen, Ahmed decides to pay an additional $35,000 early to further reduce the Government’s share in his property and, at the time of making that additional payment, his property is valued by the VGV at $693,000 which is more than the purchase price indexed by CPI. The revised PPS will be 14.47%, ie:
= ($100,000/$400,000)-($30,000/$547,000)-($35,000/$693,000), expressed as a percentage.
As a result of the payment, the Government’s share in Ahmed’s property has reduced by 5.05%.
Reviewed 26 May 2021