HomeBuilder stimulus to switch on sentiment and save jobs

The Federal Government’s announcement of a new HomeBuilder scheme will be a relief to thousands of home builders and tradies around the country.

Australians looking to build or renovate in the second half of the year will be able to apply for $25,000 from the federal government as part of a scheme aiming to keep the construction industry moving.

The $688 million HomeBuilder package is available to owner-occupiers who sign a contract to start building or substantially renovating their property after June 4.

It will be made available through State Governments, but cannot be used on investment properties or to build things outside the house (for example swimming pools, tennis courts.)

The Property Council of Australia has warmly welcomed the idea, which they say will help stimulate confidence and save jobs in the residential construction sector.

“Demand for new housing construction was threatening to fall off a cliff over the next six months. This new scheme will help switch on sentiment and save jobs at a critical time for the economy,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council.

“With weak consumer confidence and population growth, the industry needed a circuit breaker and this HomeBuilder program is very welcome.

“Housing construction is a big engine of the economy and this $25,000 HomeBuilder grant is the right incentive at the right time,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison called on state and territory governments to get behind the program by adding further incentives to bring projects forward and support jobs.

“Importantly, the HomeBuilder scheme will complement existing state and territory government programs to help home buyers.

“State and territory governments now have a big opportunity to strengthen this economic impact by either topping up these grants or providing stamp duty relief for newly constructed dwellings,” Mr Morrison said.

“It will also be important for state and territory governments to make sure their titles, planning and building approvals systems are ready to facilitate the new construction activity this scheme will help generate, particularly given the requirement for construction to start within three months of contracts being signed.”

Mr Morrison welcomed the clear focus on bringing forward new housing construction for contracts entered into until December, and the fact there would be no limitation on the number of qualifying people who could apply for the scheme.

“This should provide a real boost for the housing construction sector, supporting jobs and generating economic activity across new housing and renovation.”

Mr Morrison cautioned that the scheme would provide limited support to new apartment construction given the requirement to start building within three months of contract signing and the longer lead times for commencement of these projects.

“It will be important to maximise the volume of jobs saved over coming months and we look forward to working with the government on its implementation and design.

“HomeBuilder is a very welcome initiative that will help more Australians build a new home, create jobs and power-up our economic recovery,” Mr Morrison said.

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.