In October 2021, the Victorian Government announced the Victorian Homebuyer Fund. The Fund is a shared equity scheme in which the state government contributes to the purchase price of a home, in exchange for a share in the property. The government is paid back for their contribution either over time or when the property is sold.
As part of its 2022 election campaign, the Federal Labor Party also announced a similar scheme, called Help to Buy.
The schemes are available for any prospective homeowner to purchase a home to live in, provided the criteria for the scheme are met. The requirements of each scheme are summarised below:
|Share of government ownership||Up to 30% for existing homes, up to 40% for new homes||Up to 25%|
|Income limit||$90,000 for singles,
$120,000 for couples
|$125,000 for singles, $200,000 for couples|
|Minimum deposit required from the homeowner||2%||5%|
|Price cap||$850,000 for Melbourne and Geelong,
$550,000 for rest of Victoria
|$950,000 for Melbourne and Geelong,
$600,000 for rest of Victoria
|Eligible locations||Anywhere in Australia||Certain locations only- some smaller towns are not eligible|
|Type of home||Existing or new home||Existing home, not available for off the plan properties or vacant land|
|Residence requirement||Australian Citizen||Australian or New Zealand Citizen or permanent resident|
Other requirements include:
- The homeowner must not own other property either in Australia or overseas, including as beneficiary of a trust.
- The homeowner must obtain provisional approval from the scheme before purchasing a property and has 6 months to purchase.
- The homeowner cannot sell the property or exit the program within 2 years of settlement without the government’s consent.
- The homeowner is required to repay the government’s financial contribution within the loan term plus 60 days.
- If the homeowner’s income exceeds the income limit for more than 2 years, they will be required to pay back some of the government’s financial contribution.
- The homeowner must obtain SRO’s approval for any renovations that cost $10,000 or more, require a building or planning permit or involve a structural adjustment to the property.
- Modifications must not reduce the value of the property. The value of any renovations will be deducted from the valuation when the property is sold in determining the government’s proportional interest in the property.
If you are thinking of purchasing a property or require more information regarding the eligibility for shared equity schemes, please feel free to contact a member of our property law team on 5434 6666 or 5472 1588.