HomeBuilder: What it is and how it works
A new $25,000 grant plans to get labourers back to work and push the economy out of recession.
Scott Morrison will fire the starter’s gun on a renovation rescue for the economy with $25,000 cash grants for new homes and renos from midnight tonight.
But you will only qualify for the cash splash if you’re spending $150,000 or more on a renovation and you meet an income test, with swimming pools and tennis court projects banned.
For new home builds, the value of the property must be $750,000 or less.
Speaking on Thursday morning, Mr Morrison said the construction industry was set to “dry up quickly”.
“Some 30,000 homes or thereabouts won’t get built. That means jobs not just for tradies and apprentices but all the other industries that feed into the home building industry and all the jobs that depend on that,” he said.
Mr Morrison said the $25,000 grants would “support those Australians whose dream it was to build their home or to do that big renovation”.
News.com.au has confirmed the full details of the new scheme, to be called HomeBuilder, including the income test to qualify for the cash.
To qualify for HomeBuilder, you need to be building a new home worth less than $750,000 or if you are renovating an existing property it needs to have been previously valued at less than $1.5 million.
“If you’ve been putting off that renovation or new build, the extra $25,000 we’re putting on the table along with record low interest rates means now’s the time to do it,’’ the Prime Minister said.
“This investment isn’t just about helping Australians bring their dream home to life, it’s about creating jobs and helping support the more than one million workers in the sector including builders, painters, plumbers and electricians across the country.”
As revealed by news.com.au on Monday, the value of the grants will be $25,000.
In NSW, that means first home buyers building a new home could get $35,000 in grants to build and stamp duty concessions when the $25,000 grant is combined with existing state schemes.
Applicants for HomeBuilder must also meet the following two income caps to qualify for the scheme.
• Singles must be earning $125,000 or less based on their 2018/19 tax return or later.
• Couples must have a combined income of less than $200,000 based on their tax returns.
The cash splash will be offered for any contracts entered into between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.
That means singles and couples who are currently building a new home will miss out on the cash with the short, sharp stimulus to end on New Year’s Eve.
Investors and owner builders will be banned from claiming the cash with the scheme designed to help low and middle income earners claim the property ladder.
RELATED: ‘Shambles’: JobKeeper website bungle
First home buyers looking to build a new home are not the only winners, with the cash grants to be extended to owner occupiers who want to renovate the family home.
However, an income test will apply to the grants to ensure that millionaires and people minimising their taxable income through trusts cannot claim the cash.
To qualify for the HomeBuilder scheme, you must be aged 18 years or older, an Australian citizen and be an individual, not a company or trust.
Those rules follow claims that wealthy families rorted the Howard Government’s original First Home Buyers Scheme by purchasing properties for toddlers and children and pocketing the cash.
Contracts must be entered into before December 31, 2020 to qualify for the cash.
For renovators, the works must improve the accessibility, safety and liveability of the dwelling.
Homebuilder grants cannot be used for additions to the property that are unconnected to the principal place of residence such as swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, sheds or garages.
But the new $25,000 grants is on top of existing State and Territory First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, as well as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Scheme.
The cost of the scheme is estimated at $688 million but it is a demand driven scheme and could cost more or less depending on how many Australians claim the cash.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg predicted the scheme would support 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector.
“The construction sector is the number one industry covered by the Government’s JobKeeper program with more than a million Australians employed across the sector,’’ he said.
“However with dwelling investment expected to decline by around 20 per cent through the June Quarter, the HomeBuilder program will support residential construction activity and jobs across the industry at a time when the economy and the sector needs it most.”
Housing Minister Michael Sukkar said the scheme would complement the government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme which has helped 10,000 first home buyers get into a home of their own this year.
“HomeBuilder will build upon this, creating even more opportunities for Australians to build a new home or renovate an existing home for their family, while supporting our vital residential construction industry.”