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Can the $25k HomeBuilder Scheme benefit Brisbane’s inner-west?

Can the $25k HomeBuilder Scheme benefit Brisbane’s inner-west?

In an effort to stimulate the construction industry, the Morrison Government recently announced a $25,000 HomeBuilder Scheme.

The grant is designed for people who are looking to build a new home or substantially renovate their existing property in 2020.

Although the eligibility criteria has received some criticism, there are benefits for homeowners in Brisbane’s inner-western suburbs. More importantly, the scheme is available to all owner occupiers – not just first home buyers.

What is HomeBuilder?

HomeBuilder is a $25,000 grant for owner occupiers to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home between 4th June 2020 and 31st December 2020. The scheme is designed to boost the building and construction industry, which makes up Brisbane’s second largest sector.

Who is eligible for HomeBuilder?

Applicants will need to pass the eligibility criteria, which takes into account their household income and property value, among other factors.

  • Household income eligibility*:
    • $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 tax return or later; or
    • $200,000 per annum for a couple based on both 2018-19 tax returns or later;
  • Property value eligibility*:
    • Build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value does not exceed $750,000; or
    • Substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of your existing property does not exceed $1.5 million;
  • Other key factors*:
    • You enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020;
    • Construction must commence within three months of the contract date;
    • Swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, sheds or disconnected garages are not eligible.

View the full eligibility criteria here

What does this mean for homeowners in Brisbane’s inner-western suburbs?

This means homeowners throughout Indooroopilly, Taringa and Toowong could be eligible for the $25,000 grant if they would like to renovate their existing property, knock down and build a new home, or purchase an off-the-plan apartment.

HomeBuilder Brisbane | 46 Ward Street, Indooroopilly
Beautifully renovated home at 46 Ward Street, Indooroopilly | Sold $1,320,000

Renovate an existing property

Over recent years, there has been a growing trend in homeowners choosing to renovate their property to meet their changing lifestyle needs, rather than moving. The average length of homeownership in Brisbane’s inner-western suburbs has stretched to 13 years, which is almost double the 7 year average we saw in 2009.

With this in mind, the HomeBuilder grant could be the perfect opportunity to modernise, extend or refurbish the family home while staying in a desirable neighbourhood. See HomeBuilder example.

HomeBuilder Brisbane | 12 Lodge Street, Toowong
Original homes prime for renovation at 42 Blakeney St, Highgate Hill & 12 Lodge St, Toowong

If you’re looking to purchase an original cottage such as 12 Lodge Street, Toowong or 42 Blakeney Street, Highgate Hill, they present another great opportunity. With the help of the HomeBuilder grant, these character homes could be turned into modern beauties, taking advantage of their prime inner-city locations. See HomeBuilder example.

HomeBuilder Brisbane | 53 Todd Street, Taringa
53 Todd St, Taringa sold for $720,000 and can be knocked down to rebuild a new home

Knock down and rebuild

Many post war homes in our inner-western suburbs are being sold, making way for the building of new properties as younger generations move to the area. While land is scarce in our suburbs, knocking down an older property to build a new home, could be an option under the HomeBuilder grant. 53 Todd Street, Taringa was sold for $720,000 with the opportunity to knock down and rebuild within the coveted Ironside State School catchment. See HomeBuilder example.

Off-the-plan apartments and townhouses

As well as houses, more and more boutique apartments and townhouses are being built, particularly throughout Indooroopilly and St Lucia. They offer a unique lifestyle for the modern-day homeowner, with convenience and a contemporary urban design enticing buyers. These off-the-plan apartments and townhouses are also eligible for the HomeBuilder grant, provided the value of the property does not exceed $750,000.

The HomeBuilder scheme is also designed to complement other government incentives. In addition, First Home Buyers purchasing off-the-plan would also be eligible for Queensland’s $15,000 First Home Buyer’s Grant. These offer a significant boost for any new homeowner looking to get their foot into the property market. See HomeBuilder example.

HomeBuilder Brisbane | 11 Vera Street, Toowong
Recently completed renovations at 11 Vera Street, Toowong which is now available for sale

How do I apply for the HomeBuilder grant?

The HomeBuilder Scheme was announced by the Federal Government on June 3rd and will be administered by the relevant State Governments. Information on how to apply for the grant in Queensland will be available soon. You can find out more from the Australian Treasury.

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*The HomeBuilder information including the eligibility criteria in this article has been taken from the Australian Government’s HomeBuilder Fact Sheet. Whist every care has been taken to ensure its accuracy, the Government may change the details of the grant and this article should be used as a guide only. Please refer to The Treasury’s webpage for current information.

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Byrony O'Neill

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