For those that are not aware and will be looking to purchase a property in the medium term the Government offer incentives to save for your first home in Australia.

It is a very good scheme in terms of tax treatment and co-contribution (ie free money!) however it is restrictive in that you would need to save for a minimum of four years before you are able to use the money to purchase a home.

This link provides a very thorough explanation of the scheme First home saver account - Australian Securities and Investments Commission

For those that already know about the scheme there have been changes proposed by the Government due to it being restrictive, Press Release - Helping Australians Buy Their First Home By Increasing Flexibility of First Home Saver Accounts [11/05/2010] however the changes are that if you buy a home before the four years ordinarily the money from the savings account would have to be paid into your Superannuation after four years but can now be paid into the mortgage after four years.

So the changes have still not made it possible to use the money before the four years but instead just changed what you can do with the money after the four years if you have already purchased your first home.

So just be aware that if you are looking to open a First Home Saver Account to help build funds to purchase your first home, unless you are sure you will not want to purchase for four or more years than it probably will not be for you unless you already have the funds to buy anyway.