The government has recently announced a new initiative that is projected to cost $680 million under the government housing package in a bid to boost the economy and act as a lifeline to the home construction industry. This incentive coined as ‘HomeBuilder’ will assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations this year with strict conditions.
HomeBuilder is a time-limited grant program to help the residential construction market to bounce back from the economic fallout of the Coronavirus crisis. The ‘HomeBuilder’ will provide eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
HomeBuilder will complement 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.
- You are a natural person (not a company or trust);
- You are aged 18 years or older;
- You are an Australian citizen and not a permanent resident;
- You meet one of the following two income caps: $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 tax return or later; or $200,000 per annum for a couple based on both 2018-19 tax returns or later
- You 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 substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of your existing property does not exceed $1.5 million;
- Construction must commence within three months of the contract date. Process and timing ‘HomeBuilder’ will be implemented via a National Partnership Agreement, signed by the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments. This approach will utilise existing state and territory mechanisms to distribute the ‘HomeBuilder’ payments. When the States and Territories begin accepting ‘HomeBuilder’ applications, they will backdate acceptance of these applications to 4 June 2020;
Information on when and how you will be able to access ‘HomeBuilder’ will become available through the relevant State or Territory revenue office.
What if I am not eligible for the HomeBuilder?
There are several government incentives to support first-home buyers that are worth looking into.
You may be eligible for some or all the following:
- First Home Owner Grant. This is a cash grant if they are building a new home (or in some cases, buying an existing home depending on state or territory), depending on the property’s value.
- Stamp duty concessions. Many first home buyers may still be eligible for a concession or exemption on stamp duty even though they do not qualify for a grant. Stamp duty cost can be quite high and can eat into your deposit so it is worthwhile to look into this.
- First home loan deposit scheme. This is a government scheme allows first-time buyers to get a home loan with just a 5% deposit without paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). This premium is payable if you are borrowing more than 80% of the purchase price. Note: There are a limited number of places for this scheme.
- First home super saver scheme. Through this superannuation scheme for first home buyers, you can make additional contributions to your super fund, then withdraw them to use as a deposit on your first home, with tax benefits for doing so.