HomeBuilder construction extension
The HomeBuilder construction deadline has been extended a year. Photo – Canva.
  • HomeBuilder recipients will now have 18 months to commence construction
  • It has become increasingly difficult to find a home builder that could start this year
  • 70% of builders have been hit by delays and cost increases for key trades and products

Having been introduced at the height of the pandemic in June last year, the federal government’s HomeBuilder program provided eligible owner-occupiers – including first home buyers – with grants to either build, or substantially renovate, their home. The plan was to kick start the stalling home building industry.

The plan worked.

However, partly due to its own success in boosting the industry and also because of pandemic shortages, it has become increasingly difficult for grantees to find a home builder that could start work in time.

Under the original scheme, construction had to commence within six months. This has now been extended to 18 months.

“The Federal Government showed strong leadership to introduce HomeBuilder when Covid lockdowns meant thousands of builders and tradies faced a valley of death with no forward work.”

“Thanks to HomeBuilder those businesses and jobs were saved. It’s been one of the most effective government interventions ever.” 

Denita Wawn, CEO, Master Builders Australia

As The Property Tribune reported back in January, by the end of 2020 close to 60,000 applications has been made under the scheme for new homes as well as 15,380 substantial renovations. Many rushed to build new houses in December before the $25,000 grants were scaled back to $15,000.

Data revealed that Victorians took advantage of Homebuilder the most with 21,595 applications, considerably more than the more populous state of New South Wales which had 13,687 applicants.

Meanwhile, various industry bodies had called for the HomeBuilder construction deadline to be extended, and the federal government has now complied.

“Homebuilder has been an economic bullseye, it is one of the most successful economic stimulus measures ever undertaken by a federal government.”

“This extension is a common-sense solution that takes the pressure off homebuyers and home builders over the next few months.”

Ken Morrison, CEO, Property Council of Australia

“As stimulated demand winds down we need governments to focus on rekindling Australia’s traditional drivers of demand such as overseas migration.”

“As HomeBuilder driven projects draw to a close, all eyes will now be on state and territory government efforts to keep employment and construction going in the apartment sector,” he said.

The extra 12 months will not only allow those in the program to book their home builder, and take advantage of the grant, it will spread the benefits of HomeBuilder program over a longer time period.

“The scale of the HomeBuilder success – more than 120,000 HomeBuilder applications have created huge pressure on the supply chain with Master Builders Australia’s survey of the industry showing that 70% of builders are being hit by delays and cost increases for key trades and building products.” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said,

“This also created the risk that thousands of HomeBuilder applicants could miss out on the grants because builders could not meet the construction start date requirements,” she said.

“Thanks to this move by the Federal Government, thousands of HomeBuilder applicants around the country can now breathe a huge sigh of relief,” Denita Wawn said.

“This will help builders and tradies maximise and manage the extraordinary success of HomeBuilder,” she said.

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