First home buyers in NSW may be eligible for a full or partial exemption of transfer duty, with some changes to the purchase price thresholds and residence requirements effective from 1 July 2023.

Individuals over 18 who are purchasing a new or existing home or vacant land in NSW for the first time are eligible for the assistance scheme. The scheme provides a full exemption of transfer duty on purchases up to $800,000, and a concessional rate applied to transfer duty on purchases between $800,001 up to $1 million. These thresholds have increased from the prior financial year and take effect on all contracts signed from 1 July 2023 onwards.

Residence requirements apply for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, as well as the First Home Owner Grant. For contracts entered into after 1 July 2023, purchasers must move into their new home within 12 months of settlement and live in the property for a continuous 12-month period.

The First Home Buyer Choice, which enabled purchasers to choose an annual property tax instead of transfer duty, has been discontinued, although purchases prior to July 1, where purchasers opted into the annual property tax, will be grandfathered.

These links to NSW Revenue provide more information on the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme and the First Home Owners Grant. If you have any queries on legal matters related to property purchases, please contact the Ranu or myself on (02) 9908 9888.