First home super saver

Spaceship Super

Owning your first home in Tasmania

How you could use the First Home Super Saver scheme and First Home Guarantee to help secure your first property in Tassie.

The information on this page is correct as of 1 June 2023 and may change. Check out the Tas Government and ATO FHSS websites for the latest information.

Your first home in Tassie

Extra help for buying your first home.

First home super saver - First home buyer grants

First home buyer grants

Under Tasmania’s First Home Owners Grant, eligible first-time home buyers can receive a grant of $30,000 to help them build or purchase a brand new home. This is the most generous first home grant in Australia and it can help make the process of buying or building more affordable for first home owners as well as supporting the local construction industry.

First home super saver - Upfront cost help

Upfront cost help

Tasmania’s first-time buyers can apply for Australia’s First Home Guarantee (formerly called the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or FHLDS) to assist in lowering the amount of deposit they need - sometimes down to just 5%. The Federal Government act as guarantor on some of your mortgage, thus removing the requirement for Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

First home super saver - Tax help with saving

Tax help with saving

The FHSS scheme (First Home Super Saver Scheme aka FHSSS) helps you save for the deposit with a tax rate generally set at 15% which is well below normal income tax rates.

How it could work for you in Tasmania

On her 25th birthday, Lili decided she wanted to stop renting and buy a home of her own. She wants something new and after looking around for a while she sees a home under construction in Hobart for sale at $580,000. She does her sums and her paperwork and manages it as follows:

  1. Lili is eligible for Tasmania’s First Home Owners Grant, which gives her $30,000 towards her purchase.
  2. As the house is valued less than $600,000 she is also accepted for the federal First Home Guarantee, and her lender only asks for a deposit of 5% i.e. $27,500.
  3. In the past two years, Lili has twice contributed $10,000 to her super under the contribute and claim method to get a tax concession. This worked well, as Lili’s general rate of income tax of 34.5% (including the Medicare levy), is well above the 15% tax on super contributions saving her thousands in tax.
  4. Now, under the FHSS scheme, Lili withdraws her contributions and earnings from her super by requesting a determination from the ATO. The ATO determines her maximum release amount and associated earnings. Here’s some more about how that works.
  5. Lili puts her money together and gets ready to bid farewell to her landlord.

Tip – In Tasmania there’s a 50% stamp duty concession available for first home buyers who buy established homes under $600,000 and meet other eligibility criteria.

If this won’t be you, you’ll need to save for stamp duty as well as the deposit.

Early savers can gain tax concessions on up to $15,000 per year by saving into their super, and this can be withdrawn under First Home Super Saver rules when a property is purchased.

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Saving more with the FHSS

How does the First Home Super Saver Scheme work?

Under the FHSS, first-time home buyers can make voluntary contributions into their superannuation where these contributions are taxed at 15%, so you can potentially save more money for a deposit faster. You then apply to have those contributions (and any related earnings) released, to help pay for a deposit on a home.

FHSS savings can give you a decisive advantage in house hunting in Tasmania.

How do I save using the FHSS?

Many people save via salary sacrifice (having some of your salary paid to your super account instead of your bank account). The other common way is to make your own contribution and then claim it as a tax deduction. Both can be good ways to top up your super and build the funds for when you want to use the FHSS.

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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A lower deposit with the First Home Guarantee

What is the First Home Guarantee?

First Home Guarantee is an Australian Federal 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. Approved buyers will also not pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

How does the First Home Guarantee work?

The Australian Government’s First Home Guarantee (FHBG) is designed to help eligible applicants pay a lower mortgage deposit, without having to meet the expense of Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which can bump up the loan amount by around $10,000. Under the scheme, the Federal Government guarantees part of your mortgage.

What are the eligibility criteria?

To meet the criteria for the First Home Guarantee (aka First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or FHLDS) in Tasmania, you must generally be:

  • A first home buyer
  • Either single applicant earning up to $125,000 pa or a couple earning up to $200,000 pa.
  • An Australian citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Planning to live in the property

Only residential real estate is eligible, but this can be:

  • A house, townhouse or apartment that’s already been built
  • A house and land package
  • Vacant land with a contract to build a home
  • A new or off-the-plan apartment, unit or townhouse.

In Hobart in 2023, the property can’t be valued at more than $600,000 or $450,000 in the rest of Tasmania.

For full eligibility criteria details, check out the First Home Guarantee site.

Join Spaceship Super - One super account is all you need to save using FHSS