First home super saver

Spaceship Super

Buying a first home in Queensland

You could use the First Home Super Saver scheme and First Home Guarantee to help you get the keys to your first Queensland property.

The information on this page is correct as of 1 June 2023 and may change. Visit the QLD Government and ATO First Home Super Saver Scheme websites for the latest information

Your first home in Queensland

Here’s some help on offer for QLD first home buyers.

First home super saver - First home buyer grants

First home buyer grants

The Queensland First Home Owners Grant can give first home buyers up to $15,000 toward their deposit for properties worth up to $750,000. The property has to be brand new or substantially renovated, and you must move in within a year of being approved.

First home super saver - Upfront cost help

Upfront cost help

Two ways Queensland residents can potentially lower their deposits and avoid expensive Lenders Mortgage Insurance are the Federal First Home Guarantee and the Queensland Housing Finance Loan. 

Plus, the Qld First Home Concession can reduce transfer duty on properties worth up to $550,000 or vacant land worth up to $400,000.

First home super saver - Tax help with saving

Tax help with saving

The Federal Government’s First Home Super Saver (FHSS or FHSSS) scheme helps you save more for your deposit by using your super fund, where your super is generally taxed at 15%, well below most income tax rates.

How it could work for you in QLD

Jane wants to buy her first home in the suburbs of Brisbane. After a long search she finally finds a house she loves, but the $700,000 cost is more than she wanted to pay. Jane takes a 5-step approach.

  1. Jane qualifies for Qld First Home Owners Grant, which gives her $15,000. So, she has $685,000 left to fund.
  2. Jane also qualifies for the federal First Home Guarantee which means she won’t pay any Lenders Mortgage Insurance. Her lender still needs her to pay a 10% deposit though.
  3. Jane has been salary sacrificing $15,000 per year into super for the last 3 years which she can withdraw under First Home Super Saver. Jane’s income tax rate is 34.5% ( including the Medicare levy) which is above the 15% tax on super contributions, so she saves thousands of dollars in tax, which she puts towards her deposit.
  4. When Jane withdraws the money from super under FHSS, the ATO will determine her maximum releasable amount and associated earnings. Here’s some more about how that works
  5. Jane puts all her savings together and starts planning what colour she’ll paint her new walls.

Tip – At step 2, Jane could have chosen the Queensland Housing Finance Loan instead of First Home Guarantee as a way of limiting the deposit, so it is worth considering which suits you and your eligibility.

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Saving with the FHSS

How does the First Home Super Saver Scheme work?

FHSS offers the opportunity to withdraw up to $50,000 (plus investment earnings) in total from your voluntary super contributions to put towards your first home deposit.

If your home ownership plans are still a few years away, now could be a good time to start adding to your own super, so that you’ll have the funds there ready when you are. What’s more, voluntary contributions can come with tax advantages, so you can potentially save even more.

When you reach the point of buying your first home, your FHSS savings can put you on the front foot while the other federal and Queensland first home programs help to bring the funding target within reach.

How do I save using the FHSS?

Saving for your home deposit via the FHSS is pretty simple. It starts with making voluntary contributions to your super.

This can be done through salary sacrificing or contributing from your earnings and claiming a tax deduction, to take advantage of only being taxed at 15% instead of your normal rate (which is usually higher).

You can also transfer from wages (and savings) you’ve already paid tax on. There are limits to how much you can contribute however.

First home super saver - 7 steps - In simple terms, the FHSS works like this

  1. Check you’re eligible for the FHSS – are you 18 years old or over and a first home buyer? There’s no Australian citizenship or residency requirement to apply.
  2. Check that your super fund allows you to withdraw under the FHSS (Spaceship Super does!)
  3. Start out by contributing to your own super in any of the following ways:
    1. Contribute after-tax money to your super and then a claim tax deduction in your tax return.
    2. Salary sacrifice, by asking your employer’s payroll department to send some of your income directly to your super account instead of to you.
    3. Contribute after-tax money to your super account, without claiming a tax deduction.
    • Options a and b count towards your ‘concessional contributions’ annual cap of $27,500 (including your employer contributions) and come with tax savings.
    • Option c counts towards your ‘non-concessional’ annual cap of $110,000.
    • There’s a $15,000 cap on how much you can save via the FHSS each year. 
  4. Think financial years. Your annual limits reset on 1 July every year. 
  5. When it comes time to start looking for a home, you apply for a FHSS Determination and a release from the ATO.
    Make sure you get the determination before you sign a contract, so you know how much you’re able to withdraw as a deposit.
    Much of the information will be pre-filled, but it will be handy to have a record of your contributions on hand just to check.
  6. Buy your property!
    Once you sign a contract, submit an FHSS Release Request.
    The ATO requires this within 14 days of signing the contract, but it’s best to do it straight away.
    The amount you withdraw via FHSS will be paid into your bank account. In most cases it will take between 15 to 25 business days.
  7. Alternatively, you can submit the Release Request before signing a contract.
    If you do this, you have up to 24 months (an initial 12 months and an automatic 12-month extension if you need it) to sign a contract on your first home.
    If more than one person is buying the home, each person can use their own FHSS as long as they meet the criteria.
    Even if one person is not eligible, other eligible buyers can still apply for the FHSS.

See your eligible contributions in the Spaceship app.
See your eligible contributions in the Spaceship app.

See your eligible contributions in the Spaceship app.

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Paying less upfront with the First Home Guarantee

What is the First Home Guarantee?

The First Home Guarantee (FHBG) is an Australian Government program designed to help eligible first-time home buyers purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5%, instead of the usual 20% required by many lenders to avoid the need for Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

How does the First Home Guarantee work?

Managed by the Federal Government, the First Home Guarantee (FHBG) gives applicants the chance to avoid the high cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which can add $10,000 to your expenses.

What are the eligibility criteria?

Generally, to access the First Home Guarantee (previously called First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or FHLDS) in Queensland, you must meet the following criteria:

  • An individual or couple
  • An Australian citizen
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Earning up to $125,000 for individuals or $200,000 for couples
  • Be owner-occupiers of the property
  • Be a first home buyer in Australia.

Only residential properties fall under the scheme, but these can be:

  • An existing house, townhouse or apartment
  • A house and land package
  • Land and a separate contract to build a home
  • An off-the-plan apartment or townhouse.

In Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast in 2023, only properties valued at up to $700,000 are eligible, and in the rest of Queensland the maximum is $550,000.

Visit the FHBG site for full eligibility criteria.

You can also apply for a Queensland Housing Finance Loan - especially if you’ve been knocked back by retail lenders. Note that the eligibility criteria differ between First home Guarantee and the Qld Housing Finance Loan, so you do need to check this.

What is the Queensland Home Builder Grant?

The Queensland Home Builder Grant and the Home Building Booster Grant are no longer running, but existing applications may still be valid in 2023.

Join Spaceship Super - Your super account to help access the FHSS