2023-2024 Financial Year [Updated 11/07/2023]
Help with buying a home for first home buyers employed as key workers, single parents with dependent children, and single people 50 years and over.
The NSW Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper assists eligible single parents (with dependent children), single people (50 years and over) and first home buyers who are employed as key workers with buying a home. It is aimed at those in New South Wales who want to purchase a home but would not be approved for a mortgage because of their circumstances.
The NSW Government will pay up to 40% of the purchase price of an eligible property, retaining it as equity for as long as you are eligible for Shared Equity or until you sell the property.
Payments or rent aren’t required on the Government’s equity interest in the property while you remain eligible for Shared Equity.
Nurses, midwives, paramedics, teachers, early childhood educators and police officers are key workers.
Off the plan
A property currently under construction. Under Shared Equity, off the plan properties are eligible only if settlement is due to occur within 90 days of the date the contract is signed.
Principal place of residence
The one place of residence of a person, that is the primary residence of that person.
The person to whom the applicant is legally married or living with as a couple in a de facto relationship as defined in the Interpretation Act 1987.
An agreement of sale or transfer of land.
Gross income includes both your assessable income and any income which is exempt from taxation. You can find your gross income figure on your latest income tax assessment.
A child is considered a dependent person if they are aged under 16, or under 19 if they are a full-time secondary student in full time study. Those who receive disability support are dependent until they are 21.
To be eligible to join Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper, you must:
- require the shared equity contribution from the government to be able to buy your home
- be able to secure approval for a home loan from a participating lender with the government shared equity initiative
- only be able to service a mortgage with the government contribution
- meet all other eligibility criteria (see below).
The initiative is open to home buyers who are:
- single parents of a dependent child or children
- single and 50 years of age or above
- first home buyer key workers (nurses, midwives, paramedics, teachers, early childhood educators or police officers).
Participants must be:
- 18 years of age or older
- Australian or New Zealand citizens, or permanent Australian residents
- demonstrate your ability to save over time, and have a minimum deposit of 2% of the total property price (see below)
- at least one of the eligible purchasers must be ready to occupy the property as their principal place of residence from the day of settlement.
Participants must not:
- currently own any land or property
- be able to service the mortgage without the government contribution
- have a gross income of more than $93,200 (singles) and $124,200 (couples).
You must have the funds to cover acquisition costs if you are buying an existing home or construction works if you are building a home. These costs include any transfer duty, conveyancing fees, legal fees, cost of relevant certificates, settlement fees, building inspection costs and registration fees.
An asset test will also be applied by the lending partner. Your financial assets must not be worth more than:
- 30% of the purchase price of the property, for joint applicants with a combined gross annual income of more than $93,200.
- 45% of the purchase price of the property, for applicants with a combined annual income up to $93,200.
- 65% of the purchase price of the property, for single applicants who are 50 years of age or older.
Financial assets, in Australia or overseas, include currency and deposits, securities (shares, bonds, investments), loans, lump sum payments from a superannuation fund and a share of the net fixed assets of a business.
If you have assets in the form of savings which are over the asset threshold you may still be eligible Shared Equity, however you will be required to contribute some or all of your excess savings towards the property purchase.
Maximum price for eligible properties
Participants must buy a home in NSW. The maximum property price you can purchase up to is determined by the home’s location:
- $950,000 in Sydney and major regional centres (Newcastle & Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Central Coast and North Coast of NSW), or
- $600,000 in other regional areas of NSW.
Note: the maximum you can borrow to purchase a home will be based on your individual circumstances.
What properties are eligible?
- A house, townhouse, strata unit (including associated utility lots), company title unit flat or duplex purchased through an eligible agreement of sale
- Land, together with an eligible comprehensive home building contract.
The property will also need to meet the criteria set by your lending partner, which may not support the purchase of a particular property type, even though Revenue NSW deems the property eligible for Shared Equity.
What properties are not eligible?
- Primary production land.
- Land used for business or a business premises.
- Holiday homes.
Providing evidence of your eligibility
During the application process and to secure final approval, you will need to supply the documents below.
- Your ATO tax assessment notice and full tax return for the previous financial year to confirm your income eligibility.
- Completed Shared Equity application form.
- Copy of the exchanged contract of sale signed by both the purchaser and vendor including any special conditions.
- An off-the-plan purchase contract (must settle within 90 days of the sale or completed construction to be eligible).
- Statement from the vendor or vendors legal representative confirming the off-the-plan settlement or construction completion date (if applicable).
- Copy of the occupation certificate or a final inspection certificate.
- Statement from vendor OR vendors solicitor to evidence newly built property has not been occupied since completion.
- Comprehensive home building contract.
- Insurance policy document or certificate of insurance.
- Shared Equity participation agreement.
- National Mortgage form.
- Copy of valuation.
Documents to provide
You will be provided with details of the documents you need to supply. The following is a guide only.
- Proof of identity documents
You will need to provide all of the following:
- Australian or New Zealand passport
- Birth certificate
- Driver licence
- Medicare card
- Permanent residency evidence
You will need to provide all of the following:
- Foreign passport
- Australian citizenship certificate/permanent residency visa.
- Key worker cohort evidence
You will need to provide one of the following:
- Employment letter.
- Single parent cohort evidence
You will need to provide one of the following:
- Centrelink assessment notice
- Family tax benefit statement
- Child support assessment.
- Evidence of separation
You will need to provide one of the following:
- Divorce certificate
- Statutory declaration.
- Off the plan applications
Off the plan eligibility criteria and evidence
An off-the-plan purchase must settle within 90 days of the contract of sale date or completed construction to be eligible. You will need to supply:
- signed copy of the contract of sale
- comprehensive home building contract
- copy of the occupation certificate or a final inspection certificate
- statement from the vendor or vendors legal representative confirming the settlement or construction completion date.
Your ongoing obligations
Shared Equity participants will need to fulfil a range of obligations to stay eligible. The eligibility criteria summarised below should be read together with the detailed policy guidelines.
Ongoing eligibility criteria
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and remain so to be eligible.
- Your household income must not exceed the income threshold for two consecutive financial years.
- You must not own any other land or property, apart from the one you purchased with the government equity contribution.
- You must continue to occupy the property as your principal place of residence (or apply for an exemption via your lending partner if you are in hospital, or need to vacate for renovations, or for other reasons permitted with approval).
If you are no longer eligible, you may need to start buying back the NSW Government’s interest in the property, however, your individual circumstances will be considered when making this determination.
Revenue NSW will conduct reviews of your ongoing eligibility and obligations under the initiative.
An initial review will occur 2 years after the purchase of your home and then every 2–5 years to follow. A review may also occur if your circumstances change. You’re required to notify Revenue NSW if your circumstances do change (see below).
You may be required to provide supporting information to the review, including documentation proving the property is your principal place of residence, as well as:
- evidence of income
- certificates of insurance for the full reinstatement or replacement value
- other documents or declarations as required.
Additional ongoing obligations
Reporting a change in circumstance
You must notify Revenue NSW within 3 months if you:
- cease to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- acquire an interest in any land in Australia or overseas (including as beneficiary under a trust and excluding land which is held by a person solely as trustee of a trust or as the executor of a will) other than your
- home cease to occupy the home as your principal place of residence have any change in spousal relationship status.
To notify Revenue NSW of changes please complete a change of circumstances form and submit to your lending partner.
Revenue NSW may impose a penalty if your circumstances change and you haven’t notified us.
Vacant land purchases and new builds
To maintain your obligations when constructing a new home, your building works must start within 12 months of settlement and be complete within 24 months of settlement. This period may be extended in reasonable circumstances.
No income is to be derived from the property prior to occupation, which must commence within 12 months of build completion. The property must then continue to be your principal place of residence.
The property must be insured against loss or damage from fire (including bushfire), lightning, flood, storm, tempest, earthquake, water damage, explosion, malicious damage and other risks usually covered under a comprehensive insurance policy. You will be required to provide policy details for your periodic review.
Maintenance of property
You are required to maintain the property, carry out repairs, and keep things in good working order at your own cost. No approval is required to carry out maintenance work.
You must notify Revenue NSW of any damage or defect that may impact the property value within 3 months of it occurring.
Revenue NSW may inspect the property and direct you to carry out repairs, maintenance, or alterations (at your cost) and if you do not comply, can procure a third party to carry out the works and direct you to pay for those costs.
If, when you sell the property or exit Shared Equity, Revenue NSW determines you have failed to maintain the property, the NSW Government’s interest in your property may be adjusted.
You are responsible for all property costs such as council rates, utilities, body corporate fees, water and home loan repayments
Significant modifications (including renovations) that may affect the value of the property require approval. These are modifications that:
- cost at least $20,000, incurred within a 12-month period, or
- require council approval (including complying development).
Revenue NSW will only approve modifications if:
- the modifications are not repairs, maintenance, or alterations
- the costs of the modification are not overstated
- the modification will be value adding or value neutral, and
- all consents and authorisations necessary for the proposed works have been obtained.
Full valuations are required before and after modifications to the property. The pre-modification valuation report must include an estimate of the post-modification value, excluding the impact of expected general market movements before and after the modification.
Pre-modification valuation costs are incurred by the participant and any post-modification valuation costs are incurred by the State.
Once complete, such approved modifications may adjust the NSW Government’s interest in your property accordingly, meaning you realise the value of your investment by having a greater share of the equity.
To apply for approval to undertake significant modifications, please complete a change of circumstances form and submit to Bendigo Bank. If any modifications are made prior to obtaining approval as out lined above, the NSW Government’s interest in your property may be adjusted, noting that unapproved modifications that result in the increase of the property value will not adjust your share in equity accordingly.
Increasing your share of equity
Participants can make voluntary payments and move towards full ownership of their home (staircasing). The minimum contribution must reduce the government’s equity by at least 5 percentage points.
The government will subsidise the cost of five independent valuations of the property to calculate the equity contribution payment for voluntary contributions or when a periodic review deems you are ineligible for Shared Equity.
To discuss extra payments and an increase in your equity share, please contact your lending partner.
Revenue NSW will review and assess your circumstances before approving an increase.
Exiting Shared Equity
You can exit by repaying the Government’s equity through:
- voluntary payment
- sale of the property
A required payment, following a periodic review, may also mean you exit Shared Equity.
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