On 4 June 2020, the Federal Government announced the HomeBuilder scheme. HomeBuilder is a limited-time grant program that intends to boost the building and construction industry, which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme is also expected to have a wider positive impact on Australia’s economic health, providing a significant number of Australians with increased job security.
However, the initial announcement of the HomeBuilder scheme raised many questions, particularly from builders and home buyers. In response to these queries, the Government has released a follow-up announcement, clarifying many people’s initial concerns.
The three key refinements announced include:
- The Government will allow the time that is necessary for home buyers to arrange their necessary finance approvals, building approvals and meet the other necessary legal requirements before work is required to commence, as opposed to the three-month timeframe that was initially announced
- A sales contract for a home that is purchased off the plan will be eligible in the same way as a building contract
- The process has been aligned with the current timing of payments for the first homeowner grants for new homes
HomeBuilder Grant FAQs
What kinds of dwellings are eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant?
All types of dwellings are eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant, including houses, apartments, house and land packages, and off-the-plan. However, the owner-occupier must be building a new dwelling or substantially be renovating an existing dwelling.
Is there a price cap for the HomeBuilder Grant?
There are two price caps for the HomeBuilder Grant. These are:
- Contract Price Cap – The value of new builds must not exceed $750,000 and renovations must be within the price range of $150,000 and $750,000, with the total value of the property not exceeding $1.5 million
- Income Price Cap – To be eligible, applicants must fulfil the income requirement of $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on 2018-2019 taxable income or later; or $200,000 per annum for a couple based on 2018-2019 taxable income or later
Is the HomeBuilder Grant available for people who are not first-time home buyers?
Yes, as long as all other eligibility requirements are fulfilled.
What kinds of renovations are eligible?
To be eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant, renovations must be substantial. This does not necessarily mean that foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors or staircases be removed or replaced. However, the renovations should improve upon the liveability or accessibility of the dwelling.
As such, standalone granny flats, swimming pools, tennis courts and other structures that are not connected to the property are not eligible.