With rising interest rates and ongoing costs after the initial property purchase, many Australians struggle to buy their first home. Luckily, the Australian Government’s Regional First Home Buyer Scheme (RFHBG) is designed to help those struggling to step on the property ladder with the chance to pay a lower deposit without having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

There are plenty of eligible suburbs as part of the RFHBG, perfect for first home buyers. In this article, we’ll explore the top three suburbs you should check when starting your property search.

NSW First Home Buyer Choice Key Takeaways:

  • The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG) is a recent initiative that allows eligible first home buyers to purchase property sooner by paying a lower deposit.

  • 10,000 RFHBG places are available to eligible regional first-home buyers until 30 June 2023.

  • Only regional suburbs are eligible for the RFHBG, and no capital cities are included.

What is the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG)?

The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG) is an initiative the Australian Government provides, supporting eligible first-home buyers to purchase their new property sooner by allowing them to pay a lower home loan deposit.

From 1 October 2022 – 30 June 2023, RFHBG places are available to 10,000 eligible regional first home buyers, with the home loan guaranteed by NHFIC.

The scheme helps eligible first home buyers to pay a smaller deposit (as little as 5%) without having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance. This reduces the financial strain many feel during the buying process and helps them better afford the ongoing costs involved with purchasing a property. It lessens the burden of rising interest rates, home and contents insurance, and council rates.

Any home loan guarantee is for up to a maximum amount of 15% of the property’s value and is not a cash payment or a home loan deposit.

What should first home buyers look for when choosing a regional suburb?

First home buyers looking to buy a slice of Australia’s property market must consider their individual needs and desires when starting their property search. For instance, choosing a bustling suburb with plenty of vibrant nightlife might be a perfect fit for one couple but could end up another couple’s worst nightmare!

When researching suburbs, consider the following:

1. Affordability

When researching regional suburbs, choosing a location with a more affordable purchase price should be a significant consideration.

2. Public Transport

When searching the property market, consider the suburb’s accessibility to central hubs, specifically a train or bus link. That way, you’ll find it much easier to reach all areas of the city.

3. Crime Rates

You need to feel safe in your new home, so researching local crime rates should be part of your search for the right property.

4. Amenities

There are a lot of regional areas suitable for plenty of different lifestyles. Consider whether you enjoy one similar to the city vibe or prefer a more relaxed setting with plenty of green spaces.

5. Eligibility for RFHGB

During the research stage, ensure your desired suburb is listed on the RFHBG financial assistance program to help you buy your dream first home for less. You can check each suburb’s eligibility through the RFHBG website.

The top 3 regional suburbs for first time buyers

Plenty of regional suburbs on the RFHBG scheme feature homes with reasonable purchase prices.

Whether you enjoy a busy location or a relaxed vibe, here are the top three regional suburbs ideally suited to those starting their homeownership journey.

1. Coffs Harbour, NSW

With sprawling beaches and abundant attractions, including the Solitary Islands Marine Park, Coffs Harbour is a lovely suburb in New South Wales.

Coffs Harbour combines tranquil beach locations with bustling city life, including an emerging food scene, botanical gardens, and its famous Big Banana Fun Park.

For first home buyers, real estate in Coffs Harbour is generally affordable compared to other Australian cities, with a median house price of $810,000 and a median unit price of $519,000 as of March 2023. The city is also expected to grow over the next few years, with the NSW government funding improvements to the marina.

Coffs Harbour is an eligible suburb for the RFHBG, meaning first home buyers can receive financial help during the home-buying process. Coffs Harbour will likely be home to investment property in the coming years, so now is an excellent time to buy.

2. Elizabeth Downs, SA

Elizabeth Downs, located in South Australia, is a smaller suburb near Craigmore and Davoren Park. This suburb prides itself on its multiculturalism and is the perfect place to bring up young children, with over 19 parks to play in and easy access to the Gorge Wildlife Park, the River Torrens, and Greater Adelaide.

Plenty of new developments are taking place in Elizabeth Downs, making it a growing suburb with significant potential. With many families moving into the area, the suburb is seeing a growth in family-friendly events catered to young children.

Elizabeth Downs is an eligible suburb on the RFHBG, with average house prices starting at just $334,000 for houses. If you’re unsure about whether Elizabeth Downs is right for you, contact a local buyers or real estate agent who understands the Adelaide property market.

3. Wagga Wagga, NSW

Wagga Wagga, located in NSW, is the largest inland city with plenty to do, including the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, the Wagga Beach, and the Victory Memorial Gardens. The city is also just a three hours drive from Canberra, so residents are still close to the action.

Many new residents are attracted to Wagga Wagga due to its recent renewable energy and defence projects, and house prices will grow by over 20% in 2022.

First home buyers can receive help when looking at a property purchase in Wagga Wagga, with it being eligible on the RFHBG. Property prices average at $669,500 for houses and $405,000 for units, making it still affordable for those looking to join the Australian property ladder.

Are you a first home buyer? Consult with Lendstreet today.

Our trusted local mortgage brokers are ready to advise you on the best suburbs eligible for the RFHBG. We can help you secure a home loan that best suits your needs and desires. Contact Lendstreet and find your dream first home today.

You can also book a free consultation here or email us at support@lendstreet.com.au.


What other suburbs are included in the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee?

Yes, there are other regional suburbs and areas included in the RFHBG. You may check the suburb where you want to buy in here.

Do I need be paying the Lenders Mortgage Insurance when buying first property?

You may need mortgage insurance when buying your first property if the size of your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price. Your home loan lender may require you to obtain mortgage insurance to protect them if you default. Under the RFHBG scheme, you won’t need to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance, if you’re eligible.

Also, you may contact a trusted mortgage broker to get the best advice if you have prepared less than 20% deposit.

Are there other financial assistance available for first home buyers in Australia?

There are several government incentives available to first home buyers in Australia. You can check the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation’s (NHFIC) website to learn more about the following grants and schemes for first home buyers:

  • First Home Guarantee (FHBG)
  • Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG)
  • Family Home Guarantee (FHG)

There are also other first home buyer incentives that are being offered per state, and you may check them here.

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