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Home Building Grants Explained
Since the announcement of the HomeBuilder and Regional Home Building Boost grants, there has been much discussion on what each government initiative entails and who it benefits. Aimed to boost the construction industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced the new incentives to assist owner-occupiers build a new home or substantially renovate their existing home. Here’s everything you need to know about both grants, and what it means for you.
What is HomeBuilder?
“HomeBuilder will provide all eligible owner-occupiers (not just first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.” - Prime Minister Media Release
HomeBuilder is a new government grant to encourage the building of new homes and renovations. Owner-occupiers who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to apply for $25,000 to build a new home, or renovate an existing home. The key details for the new scheme are:
- HomeBuilder can be used by eligible applicants building a new home, whether they are first home buyers or not, with the new home costing up to $750,000
- HomeBuilder can also be used by existing home owners to renovate their home where the work is valued between $150,000 and $750,000
- Contracts must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020, with construction commencing within 3 months of the contract date
- HomeBuilder can be used alongside existing First Home Owner initiatives, including the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant
- HomeBuilder is a non-taxable grant
Am I eligible?
“The eligibility criteria mean that the vast majority of Australians will be able to access the scheme.” - Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia
While there has been some contention this week regarding the HomeBuilder grant, a large portion of those interested in building a new home or performing large-scale renovations will be eligible. In order to access HomeBuilder you need to:
- Be a natural person (not a company or trust)
- Be aged 18 years or older
- Be an Australian citizen
- Earn a maximum of $125,000 per annum for individuals or $200,000 per annum for couples, based on your 2018-2019 tax returns or later
- Enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either
- Build a new home as a principal place of residence where the property value does not exceed $750,000; or
- Renovate your existing principle place of residence where the renovation cost is between $150,000 and $750,000 and the property value does not exceed $1.5 million
What is Regional Home Building Boost
The Regional home building boost grant is a state government initiative to help home owners in regional Queensland into their new home sooner. It will give you $5,000 towards the purchase or construction of a brand-new house, unit or townhouse valued at less than $750,000. The key details for the new grant are:
Eligible contracts must be entered into between 16 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 and must be one of the following:
- a contract to purchase a new home including a substantially renovated home
a contract to build a new home
- If you are an owner-builder who is building a new home, your build must have commenced from 16 June onwards
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the grant:
- you must be at least 18 years of age
- you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying with someone who is)
- you or your spouse must not have received a previous regional home building boost grant
- you must be buying or building a brand new home
- the value of the home including the land is less than $750,000
- you must move into the new home as your principal place of residence within 1 year of the completed transaction and live there continuously for 6 months
- the home is being bought or built in a regional Queensland area of:
- Central Queensland
- Darling Downs Maranoa
- Wide Bay
What is Queensland First Home Owners Grant
The Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant is a state government initiative to help first home owners to get their new first home sooner.
If your contract is dated 1 July 2018 or later, you can get the Queensland grant of $15,000 towards buying or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000). The grant is paid per new home; not to each of the applicants for the same home.
The grant encourages investment in the new housing market and simultaneously provides support to the property and construction industry, addressing housing supply issues, and assisting first home owners by making new home ownership more affordable.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the grant:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying with someone who is)
- You or your spouse must not have previously owned property in Australia that you lived in
- You must be buying or building a brand new home
- The value of the home including the land is less than $750,000
- You must move into the new home as your principal place of residence within 1 year of the completed transaction and live there continuously for 6 months
What does HomeBuilder, Regional Home Building Boost and First Home Owners Grant mean for you
Regional Queensland and first home buyers are the big winners, with eligible regional first home buyers set to receive $45,000 towards a new build – the $25,000 from the HomeBuilder grant, the $15,000 First Homeowners’ Grant and the $5,000 regional home building boost grant. ~ Master Builders Association Queensland
Now is the perfect time to build a new home, whether it be for the first time or not. Eligible first home buyers could receive $25,000 from HomeBuilders plus $5,000 from Regional Home Building Boost as well as $15,000 from the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant – that’s a massive $45,000 to put towards your new home, on top of stamp duty concessions and other government schemes you could be eligible for.
For those not eligible for First Home Owners schemes, $30,000 towards a new build is still of huge benefit. The HomeBuilder scheme and Regional Home Building Boost are unique in that you do not have to be a first time home builder to access the grant. If you’ve been considering building a new home, it’s unlikely that a scheme like this will come up again, so contact us now and make the jump while you can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I access HomeBuilder if I’m a permanent resident?
Unlike the First Home Owner’s Grant, permanent residents are unable to access the HomeBuilder grant. You must be an Australian citizen to be eligible.
Can I use HomeBuilder towards my initial deposit?
This will largely depend on the policy of your lender, however at this stage it seems unlikely that the HomeBuilder grant will be able to be used towards your initial deposit. As the government has not yet released information on when HomeBuilder will be paid, most lenders will require you to pay your initial deposit upfront – as HomeBuilder will be directly paid to the applicant, you could recoup this cost later, or choose to pay off the full amount on your home loan.
Can I use HomeBuilder towards an investment property?
HomeBuilder is only accessible by owner-occupiers, who build a new home or renovate an existing home that is their primary residence. This means that owner-builders or those looking at building an investment property will not be eligible for HomeBuilder.
Can I access HomeBuilder if I’ve already purchased land?
If you have purchased land but not yet signed a building contract, you will be able to apply for HomeBuilder, provided you meet the other eligibility criteria. The total value of your land and build must not exceed $750,000.
How do I apply for HomeBuilder and Regional Building Boost?
You’ll need to apply through your relevant state or territory revenue office. We’re still waiting for more information on when and how applications will be open, but you can register to receive updates on the process here, or contact us for more information as we receive it.
Considering using these exciting new initiatives and towards your new home? Contact us today to discuss your dream home and lock in a building contract today.
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