According to the figures released by Treasury, as at 31 December 2020, a total of 75,143 households had applied for the federal government’s HomeBuilder grant.
A total of 59,763 households – or 80 per cent – applied to construct a new home, while 15,380 applied for rebuilds.
The figures are based on those received by Treasury from the state revenue offices around Australia that accept applications.
They show that Victoria led the states and territories for new-build applications, with the government receiving 17,382 applications. Queenslanders were also keen to build new homes, with 13,507 households applying to construct a new home in the state.
There were also:
- 11,141 new-build applications from Western Australia;
- 8,714 from NSW;
- 5,949 from South Australia
- 1,521 from Tasmania
- 1,371 from ACT; and
- 178 from the Northern Territory.
For rebuilds, the government received:
- 4,973 applications from NSW;
- 4,213 from Victoria;
- 3,106 from Queensland;
- 1,479 from South Australia;
- 783 from Western Australia;
- 520 from the ACT;
- 291 from Tasmania; and
- 15 from the NT.
Commenting on the figures, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said that the package aimed to support tradies’ jobs and home buyers in the wake of the economic downturn (and the brief recession) sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Treasury calculations, the HomeBuilder package would now support up to $18 billion of residential construction projects.
“HomeBuilder was designed immediately to inject confidence and encourage buyers back into the market to offset the devastating effects of the pandemic on the residential construction industry,” Mr Sukkar said.
“On all counts HomeBuilder has more than achieved this objective, and it has kept hundreds of thousands of tradies in work who would have otherwise been facing the unemployment queue.”
The federal government recently announced that the HomeBuilder scheme would be extended until 31 March 2021.
For all new build contracts signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021:
- Eligible owner-occupier purchasers will receive a $15,000 grant.
- The property price caps for new builds in NSW and Victoria have been increased to $950,000 and $850,000 respectively.
Additionally, the construction commencement deadline has been extended from three months to six months for all eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020.
“Extending HomeBuilder ensures there will be a steady pipeline of construction activity through to 2022 to lock in this momentum,” Mr Sukkar concluded.
Master Builder Association welcomed the figures, with chief executive Denita Wawn stating that the HomeBuilder scheme would support $50 billion in economic activity across the wider economy.
“The surge in new home construction being driven by HomeBuilder has averted the valley of death that was confronting residential builders and tradies due to the pandemic,” she said.
“Without HomeBuilder thousands of small builder and tradie businesses would have gone under and hundreds of thousands of jobs would have been lost. There is no doubt that the Federal Government’s decisive action to implement HomeBuilder in the eye of the COVID-19 storm saved the day for thousands of small builders and tradies, the people they employ and communities they support around the country.”
Ms Wawn also said that the effectiveness of the HomeBuilder scheme has demonstrated the importance of measures that support home buyers in overcoming the “deposit gap” and making home ownership available to more people.
“The benefits of homeownership to individuals, families and the community can never be underestimated and the Government also deserves credit for element of HomeBuilder’s success,” she concluded.
[Related: HomeBuilder propels detached housing sales]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.