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Who are HomeBuilder’s big winners and losers?

  • June 08 2020
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Who are HomeBuilder’s big winners and losers?

By Grace Ormsby
June 08 2020

With a tight time frame and the restrictive eligibility criteria, there could be more losers than winners from the Morrison government’s HomeBuilder scheme.

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Who are HomeBuilder’s big winners and losers?

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  • June 08 2020
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With a tight time frame and the restrictive eligibility criteria, there could be more losers than winners from the Morrison government’s HomeBuilder scheme.

HomeBuilder

The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) has highlighted that home owners with planning approval already in place for renovations and those with funds on hand already will be the big winners from the recently announced HomeBuilder program.

While acknowledging that the $688 million program is a windfall for a number of home owners who would have been sitting on their hands waiting to renovate, REBAA president Cate Bakos is wary that the scheme could present a variety of hurdles for Australians who might otherwise be incentivised to build a new home or renovate their existing property.

According to the president, local council planning approval could potentially be the biggest obstacle that individuals face in the quest for scheme eligibility.

She’s also flagged concern over the availability of tradespeople to carry out construction and renovation works.

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While it’s a great opportunity for those home owners who may have put off their plans to renovate because of COVID-19, Ms Bakos said, “The six-month time frame to design a renovation, get council approval (if necessary) and source and appoint a builder does make it challenging for those who could potentially get bogged down in planning approval process.”

But for those who do have design and planning approval in place, or don’t actually require such approval, “this is like winning the lotto”.

Here are the winners and losers of the HomeBuilder program, according to REBAA:

Winners:

- Home owners who already have planning approval in place and/or building designs drawn up
- Anyone who has bought a house and land package but is yet to appoint a builder
- Upsizers and downsizers with liquidity to fund a renovation where approval is not required

Losers:

- Anyone who is unable to fund a $150,000 renovation who is not in a position to borrow
- Individuals and couples above the income threshold
- Anyone who can’t find a qualified builder in time to sign a contract
- Home owners or builders whose plans could potentially get tied up in the planning approval process
- Prospective purchasers or renovators whose builder’s qualifications don’t meet grant requirements

Should I be concerned the program could lead to further price increases in the property market?

As well as preventing people from accessing the scheme, the tight time frame associated with HomeBuilder has also led the REBAA president to predict that house prices won’t be impacted by the scheme – Ms Bakos doubts it could incentivise an overwhelming number of home buyers to make a new home purchase.

“I don’t believe it’s a mainstream strategy that would precipitate a purchase based on the program itself,” she offered.

She explained that “any buyer, particularly a first home buyer, who buys with a view to renovate to take advantage of the grant, would need to be extremely well planned to accommodate a settlement period, renovation plans and then appoint a builder with this tight time frame”.

But, “if that is your strategy, make sure you select a good quality property with good growth prospects and suitable rental yield for your cash flow position in case it becomes an investment later down the track”.


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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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