The program, which has been deemed “highly effective” by the government, will be extended from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021, helping drive demand for building work and protect the jobs of 1 million Aussies employed in the construction sector.
Back in June when the program was first announced, the government forecast it would support the construction or major rebuild of some 27,000 homes. This number has now been upped to a total 42,000 homes across Australia.
“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,” the Prime Minister said.
“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.”
Under the initial scheme — in effect from 4 June to 31 December 2020 — all eligible owner-occupiers, not just first home buyers, have access to $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing one, under the condition that construction is contracted to commence within three months of the contract date.
A national dwelling price cap of $750,000 applies for new home builds, while a renovation price range of $150,000 up to $750,000 applies to renovating an existing home with a current value of no more than $1.5 million.
The extension has, however, been scaled down, while the cap has been lifted.
This means that between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021, eligible owner-occupier purchasers will receive a $15,000 HomeBuilder, while the property price caps for new builds in New South Wales and Victoria will be increased to $950,000 and $850,000, respectively.
In addition, as of next year, the construction commencement deadline will be extended from three months to six months for all eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020.
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar said 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 program 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 program 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.”
This announcement also builds upon the extension of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme announced in the budget, which delivered 10,000 guaranteed loans to allow first home buyers to obtain a loan to build a new home, or purchase a newly built home, with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent.