Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee
Supporting eligible regional first home buyers to purchase a home in a regional area.
The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG) is part of the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS), an Australian Government initiative to support eligible first home buyers purchase a home sooner. It is administered by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) on behalf of the Australian Government.
The RFHBG aims to support eligible regional first home buyers to purchase a home in a regional area. From 1 October 2022 – 30 June 2023, 10,000 RFHBG places are available to eligible regional first home buyers.
Under the RFHBG, part of an eligible regional first home buyer’s home loan from a Participating Lender is guaranteed by NHFIC. This enables an eligible home buyer to purchase a home with as little as 5% deposit without paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
Any Guarantee of a home loan is for up to a maximum amount of 15% of the value of the property (as assessed by the Participating Lender). This Guarantee is not a cash payment or a deposit for a home loan.
To apply for the RFHBG, home buyers must be:
- applying as an individual or couple (married / de facto)
- an Australian citizen(s) at the time they enter the loan
- at least 18 years of age
- earning up to $125,000 for individuals or $200,000 for couples, as shown on the Notice of Assessment (issued by the Australian Taxation Office)
- intending to be owner-occupiers of the purchased property*
- first home buyers who have not previously owned, or had an interest in, a property in Australia
- home buyers (or at least one borrower when applying as a couple) must have lived in the regional area or adjacent regional area they are purchasing in for the preceding 12-month period to the date they execute the home loan agreement (also called the Home Loan Date)*.
* Australian Defence Force member applicants may be eligible for a partial exemption and should check with their Participating Lender if this applies.
Access the Eligibility Tool – a short questionnaire to help home buyers identify which Guarantee/s they may be eligible for.
Contact a Participating Lender for more information, including the full list of eligibility criteria.
What is a regional area?
A regional area is defined as:
- the Statistical Area Level 4 (ASGS SA4 2016) areas in a State or the Northern Territory that are not a capital city of that State or Territory; and
- Norfolk Island; or the Territories of Jervis Bay, Christmas Island or Cocos (Keeling) Islands; as defined in the version published by The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in July 2016.
The greater capital city areas of each state and the Northern Territory; and the entire Australian Capital Territory are excluded from the RFHBG. Home buyers in these areas may be eligible for the First Home Guarantee or Family Home Guarantee.
Access the Regional Checker – allows home buyers to enter the suburb (or postcode) of their current home and the suburb (or postcode) they would like to purchase in, so they can confirm if they would be eligible for the RFHBG.
Contact a Participating Lender for more information, including which regional areas you may be able to purchase in.
Property types and price caps
Under the RFHBG, home buyers can purchase a residential property, including:
- 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.
Use the Property Price Cap Tool to look up the property price caps for each location.
Specific timeframes and criteria apply to the different property types. The contract of sale and (if applicable) eligible building contract may have to be executed by specific dates.
Contact a Participating Lender for more information, including the full list of property criteria.
How to apply
Applications can only be made with a Participating Lender or their authorised representative (a mortgage broker). NHFIC does not accept applications for the HGS or provide personal financial advice.
Home buyers (and those advising them) should consider consulting with a Participating Lender, and seeking independent financial and legal advice about whether a particular home loan or property, and the terms of the HGS suit personal circumstances and objectives.
Before entering into a home loan agreement, home buyers should consider talking with their lender (or broker) about the potential implications of changing interest rates or house prices on individual circumstances.
NHFIC has authorised a panel of 32 Participating Lenders to offer the HGS to home buyers.
Home buyers applying for the RFHBG need to have between 5% and 20% of the value of an eligible property saved as a deposit. The minimum deposit required for the RFHBG is 5%, but Participating Lenders may require a higher percentage deposit based on individual financial circumstances.
Home buyers should speak with a Participating Lender to find out whether a deposit is made up of genuine savings for the purposes of their lending criteria and the RFHBG.
Home buyers should confirm with their Participating Lender whether any cash grants received under other Australian Government, State or Territory schemes or programs can be considered as part of their genuine savings.
Contact a Participating Lender for more information and to discuss individual circumstances.
Notice of Assessment (NOA)
The HGS includes an income test, which is assessed by lenders using a Notice of Assessment (NOA).
For HGS reservations made from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, the relevant Notice of Assessment is the 2021-2022 financial year. NHFIC advises applicants to speak to their Participating Lender to understand the risk of signing a Contract of Sale prior to obtaining the latest Notice of Assessment.
Contact the ATO for more information about Tax Time 2022.
Questions or queries
Frequently Asked Questions
Search our Frequently Asked Questions database for general information about the Home Guarantee Scheme.