Borrower awareness of government schemes remains low

by Madison Utley02 Jul 2020

One third of first home buyers (FHBs) are unaware of the range of government grants and schemes available which may be able to help them onto the property ladder sooner, according to research commissioned by mortgage broker Aussie.

A survey of more than 1,000 FHBs revealed that 32% do not have an understanding of any current government initiatives, including the First Home Owner grant, the $25,000 HomeBuilder grant or the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS).

“There are a myriad of federal and state schemes but, unfortunately, the majority of first home buyers are unaware of the current opportunities available to them,” said Aussie CEO James Symond.

“It appears there is widespread confusion and a lack of knowledge about government grants and schemes among FHBs, particularly those who are not being advised by a mortgage broker.”

As highlighted by Aussie, there is an entire spectrum of schemes which should be considered, including:

  • First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) – National
  • HomeBuilder Grant - National
  • First Home Super Saver Scheme – National
  • First-Home Owner Grant (different conditions in each state – NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, TAS, NT)
  • First-Home Owner Grant (New Homes) (NSW only)
  • First-Home Buyer Assistance Scheme (NSW only)
  • Stamp Duty Exemption (VIC, QLD, WA, TAS)
  • Building Bonus (WA)
  • First-Home Owner Discount (NT)
  • Home Renovation Grant (NT)
  • Household Goods Grant Scheme (NT)
  • BuildBonus Grant (NT)

“We are receiving record levels of enquiries from first home buyers to explain and help them access the various schemes, as well as presenting home loan options,” said Symond.

“The high level of demand has surprised us during these difficult economic times, as has the lack of knowledge about the incentives to get first home buyers into what is Australia’s largest asset class.

“The various schemes’ application and the home loan process itself can be complex, especially as they come with strict eligibility requirements and conditions, which many first home buyers simply cannot navigate on their own,” he added.

The research is particularly notable as the final regulatory guide (RG 273) outlining the expectations around the application of best interests duty, released last week, clearly states that mortgage brokers must factor the availability of government schemes into their decision-making on which loan product best meets their client's needs.