HomeBuilder & the housing industry

The HomeBuilder scheme provides a tax-free grant to those building a new home or renovating. To date, around 27,000 homes are expected to be covered by the scheme. The highest number of applications so far have come from Victoria (7,636), followed by Queensland with 5,954. New South Wales property prices mean that many homes exceed the eligibility threshold (4,350).

The Assistant Treasurer recently announced an extension of the HomeBuilder scheme from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.  For all new build contracts signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021:

  • Eligible owner-occupier purchasers will receive a $15,000 HomeBuilder grant (down from $25,000); and
  • The property price caps for new builds in New South Wales and Victoria will be increased to $950,000 and $850,000 respectively (from $750,000).

In addition, the construction commencement deadline will be extended from three months to six months for all eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020 (applications for HomeBuilder can be submitted up to 14 April 2020).

There is also a change in the licensing requirements and registration for builders and developers:

  • Where an eligible contract is signed on or after the 29 November 2020, the builder or developer must have a valid licence or registration before 29 November 2020
  • Where an eligible contract is signed before 29 November 2020, the builder or developer must have a valid licence or registration before 4 June 2020

The eligibility criteria to access HomeBuilder remains the same. To be eligible you need to be an individual owner occupier, 18 years of age or more, an Australian citizen, and pass the income test. The income test for individuals is $125,000 and $200,000 for couples (based on your 2018-19 or later tax return).

The grants are available if you build a new home where the value of the house and land does not exceed the threshold ($750,000 to $950,000 depending on when the contract was signed and the State you live in), or a renovation where the value of the property is $1.5m or less.

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