Co-authored by: Kay Vitogiannis
- The Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper Scheme will be in effect from Monday 23 January 2023
- First home buyers who are single parents, older singles (50 and above) and key workers (nurses, midwives, paramedics, teachers, early childhood educators and police officers) who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to take advantage of the Scheme
- Government contributes a proportion of the purchase price in exchange for an equivalent interest in the property
What is the Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper Scheme?
The Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper Scheme (the “Scheme”), has been introduced to assist single parents, older singles (50 and above) and first home buyer key workers (nurses, midwives, paramedics, teachers, early childhood educators and police officers) to purchase a property to be used as their main residence. There is also no Lenders Mortgage Insurance required with the Scheme which saves a purchaser potentially thousands of dollars.
The Scheme will be in effect from Monday 23 January 2023.
How it works.
The Government will contribute a proportion of the purchase price in exchange for an equivalent interest in the property, i.e. if the Government contributes 30% of the purchase price, the Government would then own a 30% share of the property and the buyer would own the remaining 70% of the property.
The Government secures its interest in the property by registering a second mortgage on the title.
It is important to note that the Government has their own approved lending partners, such as Bendigo Bank. Purchasers will be required to obtain finance under the scheme through one of the Government approved lending partners.
There will be 3,000 places available under the Scheme per financial year for two financial years being 2022/2023 and 2023/2024.
Are you Eligible?
To be eligible to apply for the Scheme a buyer will need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be a single parent of a dependent child or children; or
- A single person aged 50 or above; or
- A first home buyer who is a key worker such as nurses, midwives, paramedics, teachers, early childhood educators or police officers.
- Have a gross household income of no more than $90,000 for singles and $120,000 for couples;
- Buy a home with a purchase price of no more than $950,000 in Sydney and major regional centres (Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Central Coast or North Coast of NSW) or no more than $600,000 in other regional areas and meet the financial assets test;
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen. Or a permanent Australian resident;
- Have a minimum deposit of 2% of the purchase price;
- Occupy the property as your principal place of residence;
- Not currently own any land or property; and
- Require the Government contribution in order to be able to pay a mortgage for the property purchased with a participating lender.
What will the Government Contribute?
The maximum contribution towards a purchase price that the Government will provide under the Scheme is up to 40% of the purchase price for a new home or up to 30% of the purchase price for an existing home.
The Government’s lender will conduct an assessment and decide on the exact amount of contribution that will be provided.
The Government contribution is only towards the purchase price. Other costs involved in purchasing a property such as stamp duty, legal fees etc. are not included and must be paid for by the purchaser.
The purchaser will still be eligible to receive any stamp duty concession or exemption where applicable.
To continue to maintain eligibility, a purchaser must pay for property costs such as rates etc, maintain the property and comply with a periodic review on ongoing eligibility.
As long as the buyer continues to meet the eligibility requirements, no interest will be charged and there will be no need to make repayments on the Governments contribution towards the purchase price or pay any rent.
Purchasers can make voluntary payments to increase their share in the property.
If it is determined that the purchaser no longer meets the eligibility criteria, the purchaser may be required to begin repayments of the Government’s share in the property.
If for example regarding the income requirements, your income exceeds the threshold on two consecutive annual review dates, you will be required to start making repayments.
It is also worth noting that for certain modifications or renovations, a purchaser may require approval from the Government.
What happens if the property is sold?
When the property is sold the Government’s mortgage on the title will be discharged and the Government will receive as full payment of the mortgage, the same share percentage of the price the property sold for as they initially contributed.
The Government will share in the gains or losses with the participant from the sale.
For example, if the property was purchased for $500,000 initially and the Government contributed 40% of that price being $200,000.00, then when the property is sold for less than originally purchased, say it is only sold for $450,000, then the government will only receive 40% of the new sale price being $180,000 not the full $200,000 initially contributed.
This is the same for any profit made on the initial purchase price, the government will be paid the same share of the sale price as they originally contributed.
How to check your eligibility and apply to participate in the Scheme?
If you believe you are eligible for the Scheme you can check and apply on the Bendigo Bank website here.
Further information can also be found here.
ABOUT CHRISTINE BASSETT:
Christine is a Licensed Conveyancer and Justice of the Peace at Coutts’ Narellan office. Since joining Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers in 2013, Christine quickly immersed her interest in the property and has since completed studies of Conveyancing Law and Practice at Macquarie University; and is accredited with the Australian Institute of Conveyancers NSW.
For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:
ABOUT KAY VITOGIANNIS:
Kay has over 20 years of experience in the Legal industry. She began her journey in CBD Conveyancing firms as a secretary and attained her Advanced Diploma in Conveyancing in December 2010.
For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:
This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.