Federal Government extends HomeBuilder Program
In some welcomed news, the Federal Government has announced an extension to the HomeBuilder Program. The HomeBuilder Program has gifted a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to see more people realise their home-ownership dreams. The announcement of this extension combined with historically low interest rates, existing grant schemes and stable house prices in the region, provides an extremely attractive opportunity for those wishing to build a home in the new year.
What is the HomeBuilder Program?
Currently, the HomeBuilder Program is a time-limited, tax free grant that will provide eligible home builders with a $25,000 stimulus contribution towards the cost of building a new home. The Federal Government introduced the HomeBuilder Program to aid homebuyers and enhance the residential construction market through the Coronavirus pandemic.
The HomeBuilder Program was due to expire on 31st December 2020, but the Federal Government has recently announced that the program will be extended until 31st March 2021. The stimulus contribution will be at an amended rate of $15,000.
Who is eligible?
The HomeBuilder program is not just limited to first home buyers. It is accessible to all new home builds, providing it meets the criteria below.
The HomeBuilder Program is also designed to complement existing state First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, such as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Scheme.
To access the Homebuilder program for a new home build, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You are a natural person (not a company or trust)
- You are an Australian citizen, aged 18 years or older
- You do not exceed the following income caps
- $125,000 per annum for an individual, based on your 2018-19 tax return or later
- $200,000 per annum for a couple, based on your 2018-19 tax return or later
- You enter into a building contract to build a new house between 4 June 2020and 31 March 2021. Construction must commence within six months of the contract date
- The new house will be your principal place of residence and the property value (house and land) does not exceed $750,000
What changes have been made to the HomeBuilder Program?
The most notable change to the HomeBuilder Program is the stimulus contribution has been amended from $25,000 to $15,000. This change will apply to all new building contracts that are signed between 1st January 2021 and 31st March 2021, inclusive.
Other changes also include:
- An extended deadline for all applications to be submitted, including those applying for the $25,000 grant and the new $15,000 grant. Applications can now be submitted up until 14 April 2021 (inclusive). This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020.
- An extension to the construction commencement timeframe from three months to six months for all HomeBuilder applicants. This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after 1 January 2021, but will also be backdated and apply to all contracts entered into on or after 4 June 2020.
- A change in licensing requirements and registration for builders and developers, as below
- 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 existing eligibility criteria still applies, and the $25,000 grant will still be made available for eligible contracts signed on or before 31 December 2020.
How can I apply?
You will be able to apply for the HomeBuilder Program through your relevant State revenue office. All applications must be submitted by 14th April 2021.
You can contact your State revenue office for further information or click here.