It’s easy for us in the industry to get a bit blasé about certain things – an expectation that some things are just common knowledge. A particular surprise though, was to discover myself over the weekend in a room of 30 somethings unaware of the current grants on offer for those looking to either build or buy a new home.
Now this is in no way a commentary on that group, just a timely reminder that unless you are “in the moment” either as an active buyer/seller or affiliated, we don’t always focus on this kind of information.
Introduced back in June 2020 (and man, does that seem like a long time ago), Homebuilder is a Federal Government Grant for buyers building a new home or buying an already completed new home, subject to certain value limits. In QLD, that’s $750,000. Provided your income in either FY18/19 or FY19/20 was below a generous threshold and you were intending to use the property as your primary home, you were eligible for $25,000 in cash. The QLD government introduced its own stimulus for regional areas (with Cairns qualifying there), topping that up by a further $5,000. First Home Buyer? Lucky you – there is your standard $15,000 for new property on top for a total of $45,000 PLUS your stamp duty concession on the land. That’s a heck of a deal.
Originally slated to drop away on the 31st December, Homebuilder was instead reduced and extended to the 31st March at $15,000 (rather than $25,000) – still leaving a potential $20,000 - $35,000 bonus for local buyers. While eligible properties have become thin on the ground, there are still opportunities to take advantage of this generosity, but you would want to be quick about it.
Admittedly, this won’t suit everyone – there can often be better value in established property, or at least more choice. but deciding you want to take this path on the 1st of April, well that’s an expensive ($20,000) decision to make.
So what do you do about it? Well, if you can find the land, get onto a builder FAST. If you sign a contract for land this weekend you have just 4 weeks to get the build contract finalised and ready. Alternatively, if its brand new, now might be the time to sign (but double check the commencement date, as it will need to be post June 4th to qualify).