The Treasurer announced on Sunday 29th November that a modified version of the HomeBuilder grant will be extended from 31st December 2020 to 31st March 2021. The scheme in its current form offers grants of $25,000 to owner-occupiers “substantially renovating” or building a new home, and is available for contracts signed up to 31st December this year.
For contracts signed between 1st January 2021 and 31st March 2021, the grant will provide a $15,000 incentive for new builds and substantial renovations. There has also been an increase to the property price cap for new build contracts to $950,000 in New South Wales and $850,000 in Victoria – and this new cap only applies under the new $15,000 iteration of the grant.
The existing new build property price cap of $750,000 will continue to apply in all other states and territories, and the deadline for all applications must be submitted for both grants before 14th April 2021. This applies to all contracts signed on for after the 4th June 2020.
Following calls for an extension to the HomeBuilder grant timeframe for construction commencements over concerns that the popularity of the scheme has caused builder shortages, the start timeframe has also been expanded from three months to six months for all HomeBuilder applicants.
The government has also noted that there has been a change in licensing requirements and registration for builders and developers, including – when an eligible contract is signed on or after the 29th November 2020, the builder or developer must have a valid licence or registration before 29th November 2020. Where an eligible contract is signed before 29th November 2020, the builder or developer must have a valid licence or registration before 4th June 2020.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “HomeBuilder is a key part of my government’s Economic Recovery Plan for Australia. We’re keeping people in jobs and putting Australians’ dream homes within reach.
“It’s critical we keep the momentum up for Australia’s economic recovery.”
“Extending HomeBuilder will mean a steady pipeline of construction activity to keep tradies on the tools.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg added: “The Homebuilder program has delivered the stimulus the housing sector needed.
“The sector is worth $100 billion dollars a year to the Australian economy or around 5 percent of GDP and more than a million people are employed in the sector across Australia.
“The success of this program has not only meant an increase in work on the ground to keep the pipeline of construction flowing but it has also protected jobs in the construction sector as well as across the economy,” Mr Frydenberg said.
Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar also commented, saying that the most recent data showed HomeBuilder had already had around 24,000 applications, on track to exceed expected take up levels.
“This has been a highly effective programme that’s delivering real results for home buyers and has kept tradies in work throughout the COVID pandemic,” Minister Sukkar said.
“There is no better proof of HomeBuilder’s success than the latest Housing Industry Association’s new home sales data, which shows sales are 31.6 per cent higher in the three months to October 2020 when compared with the same time last year.
“This is a temporary and targeted programme and we want to give buyers the confidence and support to enter the market right now at a time when the economy needs it most.”