Hope for HomeBuilder

When the HomeBuilder grant was announced on 4 June 2020, there was disappointment across the off-the-plan residential market as it seemed unlikely (if not impossible) that the HomeBuilder grant would be workable for off-the-plan sales.

However, by clarifying the finer eligibility details, the Government has now brought hope to developers (and their purchasers) that the grant can apply to (at least some) off-the plan-sales.

We now understand that the HomeBuilder grant, will be available if the below criteria are satisfied:

  • Off-the-plan contract must be entered into between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020;
  • The purchase price must not exceed $750,000 (GST inclusive);
  • Construction can commence before the contract is entered into (but must not commence before 4 June 2020);
  • Construction must commence within 3 months of the day of sale;
  • Commencement of construction means the commencement of excavation and site preparation works;
  • If commencement is delayed for reasons outside of the control of the parties (eg. delays in obtaining council approval, delaying in obtaining construction materials) the purchaser can apply for a maximum 3 month extension for construction to commence;
  • The purchaser must submit evidence of the date of construction commencement to the SRO (a statement from the developer will suffice);
  • The payment will be made once the purchaser is registered on title; and
  • The purchaser must be registered on title by 31 October 2022.

The other eligibility requirements (income cap, principal place of residence, Australian citizen etc.) continue to apply.

The HomeBuilder grant is now a fairer and more equitable grant that can apply to new residential builds right across the Victorian property sector.

However, because of the 3 month timeframe within which construction must commence, its application in the off-the-plan market will in all reality still be limited to those projects which are already underway, or which are ready to commence (presales achieved, construction finance obtained etc. ). The grant may nonetheless prove very valuable to developers in selling unsold stock/lots.

We can only hope that this aids in keeping this sector going as the reality of further lockdown measures in Victoria becomes apparent.