Australia’s HomeBuilder package explained

The ACT planning department already gives advice on building, buying and renovating. Now the federal government will direct taxpayer funds to pay for it.

The federal government has announced the first details of a $668 million stimulus package for the construction sector.

HomeBuilder will deliver cash grants of up to $25,000 to owner occupiers who spend it on new homes or to renovate existing ones.

Kitchens and bathroom work at a principal place of residence qualifies.

Adults earning up to $125,000 annual income, or couples on a combined $200,000, are eligible.

The scheme has a time frame – June 4 to December 31 – and the government has delivered a list of what isn’t allowed, including spending on investment properties.

The money won’t be put toward house and land packages worth more than $750,000, either.

Renovation works must be priced at between $150,000-$750,000 and be carried out on dwellings worth less than $1.5m.

They should also “improve the accessibility, safety and liveability of the home”, commence three months from the agreement date and be completed under the supervision of a licensed builder.

Tennis courts, swimming pools, outdoor spas and saunas will not be taxpayer funded, the government added, nor will work on other improvements disconnected from a main home, like bungalows, sheds or garages.

HomeBuilder is anticipated to be responsible for 140,000 residential-related jobs and a million indirect ones.

Bricklayers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers were identified by Housing minister Michael Sukkar as some of the groups the scheme will benefit. Timber-mill workers, and glass, brick and tile makers, are also expected to notice a rise in demand and work flow.

Approved applicants will receive their grants upon their first progress payment for a job.

State and territory governments will manage the initiative’s roll-out and overseeing.

Stimulus package flagged broadly in March as part of COVID-19 recovery plan

The stimulus package was announced three months ago in a broad sense as being required to kick-start the economy after a social distancing led slowdown.

The boost is expected to be in the order of $15 billion prime minister Scott Morrison said last night.

Earlier yesterday treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that based on figures he had seen, the June quarter GDP is expected to be negative, putting Australia in a recession for the first time in 29 years.

The politician had previously speculated investment on dwellings would fall 20 per cent through the June quarter.

Master Builders Australia has forecast new dwelling starts to fall some half by year’s end.

More HomeBuilder details are set to be announced today.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of