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Your Guide to the HomeBuilder HomeRenovator Grant


12 Jun 2020 | Source: Your Investment Property Mag | Written by Mark Rosanes | Photo by Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash

The government’s new HomeBuilder program has received its fair share of backlash, with many industry experts blasting the “very restrictive” rule on needing to spend $150,000 more on a renovation to be entitled for the $25,000 grant.

But despite the criticism, more than 12,000 Australians have flocked to the Treasury’s website to register interest in the scheme a week after it was announced. The grant can also be availed by investors building new houses valued at less than $750,000.

Housing minister Michael Sukkar said the number of applications will likely surge, with the stimulus package garnering more than 130,000 inquiries on the website.

So, who is eligible for the grant and how can eligible parties apply? Your Investment Property gives you the answers.

Are you eligible?

To qualify for the scheme, you must be:

   •  A current or prospective owner-occupier, not an investor
   •  An individual, not a company or trust
   •  An Australian citizen
   •  At least 18 years old
   •  Earning $125,000 or less annually if you’re single, or less than $200,000 a year for couples (based on 2018/19 tax return or later)

Where can the grant be spent on?

The grant must be used to:


   •  Build a new home as a principal place of residence valued at up to $750,000 (including the land); or
   •  Substantially renovate an existing home as a principal place of residence, with renovations valued at between $150,000 and $750,000 and the dwelling not valued at more than $1.5m before the renovation

Renovations must also improve the accessibility, safety, and liveability of the home. This means additions to the property that are unconnected to the principal dwelling such as swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, and detached sheds or garages cannot be part of the upgrades. However, combination works like kitchen and bathroom renos are permitted.

Who can do the building?

Renovations and constructions must be carried out only by licensed builders who have gotten their licenses before 4 June.

The scheme also requires owners to have no special relationship with their contractor, such as being related.

The terms of the contract should be also be commercially reasonable – meaning the contract price should not be inflated compared to the fair market price.

Additionally, construction or renovations must start within three months of the contract date.

How can you apply for the grant?

To access the grant, applicants must pay a licensed builder the first instalment for starting work. They can then apply for the HomeBuilder stimulus through their state or territory revenue office.

Officials will conduct checks and once all the criteria are met, they will transfer the cash directly into the applicant's chosen bank account.

The scheme runs from 4 June until 31 December.

The government said that states will backdate acceptance of HomeBuilder applications to 4 June once the official agreement has been signed.

Another thing to note is that the $25,000 cash grant is on top of existing state and territory First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, and First Home Super Saver Scheme.

Check your eligibility and how to apply in Queensland via the following link: Regional Home Building Grant

View all current Queensland housing financial concessions: Financial Help Housing Concessions



HomeBuilder, where are the most owneroccupied dwellings below $1.5 million? CoreLogic's Eliza Owen

11 June 2020 | Author: Eliza Owen | Source: CoreLogic | Image by yanala


The HomeBuilder scheme announced in early June is intended to boost activity in the construction sector.

Dwelling construction is expected to see a lagged decline in activity off the back of COVID-19, as the recently recovering trend in dwelling approvals began to slip in April, led by a decline in unit approvals.

However, the $25,000 incentive for building a new home, or renovating an established one, comes with a set of extensive eligibility criteria.

Part of the eligibility for the renovation component of the scheme is that properties must be owner-occupied, and not exceed more than $1.5 million in value.


Using CoreLogic’s extensive property database, we have put together a count of properties by region. The count of properties are those that we estimate are owner-occupied, and have a high confidence valuation of less than $1.5 million.

The top and bottom 10 regions by number of these properties is listed below.

The list also includes the median dwelling value for all properties across the region of measurement (not just the owner-occupied properties valued below 1.5 million), and a rough estimate of the portion of all family households that are below the $200,000 income limit for the HomeBuilder scheme.

These additional data points are not factored into the count of properties generated, but provide some context around typical market values and household income.


The data suggests that the highest number of owner-occupied properties is located in the Melbourne - South East region, which spans from Mount Waverly out to Bunyip. In fact, there are four Melbourne regions that have over 100,000 owner-occupied properties estimated to be valued under $1.5 million.

These regions represent the fringe of the metropolitan area, and include some relatively low income areas compared to the inner-city regions of Melbourne.

The Perth - North West region has the second highest volume of properties. The Perth - North West region spans from part of Glendalough, up to the Yeal Nature Reserve in the north. The ‘Bottom 10’ list of regions reflects one of two characteristics.

For Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Eastern Suburbs, many properties surpass the $1.5 million property value cap to qualify for a renovation grant. For parts of outback and regional Australia, there is just a low population of dwellings.

Even where dwellings fall well below the $1.5 million threshold for a renovation grant, many of these owner occupiers will not take up the homebuilder incentive for renovations.

In fact, CoreLogic estimates there are about 4.4 million owner-occupied properties across Australia with a high confidence valuation below $1.5 million, but the federal government estimates the scheme may only support about 7,000 renovations.

While part of this is the income cap put on the scheme, it is also due to the high value of renovations that is set in the eligibility criteria. The renovations qualifying for the HomeBuilder Scheme must be worth between $150,000 and $750,000.

For areas where dwelling prices and incomes are relatively low, this may lead to owners over-capitalising on renovations, where they cannot recoup the cost of upgrades to the property.