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Burbank Blog

A few home truths about building a home and all that surrounds it.

HomeBuilder extended construction start date - what this means for you


The Federal government’s HomeBuilder grant was a welcome relief in June of last year for the entire home building industry, prospective home buyers and the Australian economy. The take up of the grant exceeded the government’s expectations drastically with 121,000 applications submitted – four times the number the government had originally forecasted when the grant was first introduced.
The HomeBuilder scheme was to provide $25,000 grants for homeowners and first-home buyers for the construction of new homes or major renovations worth more than $150,000. Originally due to expire in December 2020, it was extended as a scaled-back scheme with grants of $15,000 until the end of March 2021.
While the HomeBuilder grant had an immediate impact to the industry from the day it was announced, one of the requirements that was initially put in place was construction must commence within 6 months of the contract being signed. Initially, those customers applying for the $25,000 grant, had only 3 months to commence construction (excluding VIC, which was a 6 month start date). And those applicants applying for the $15,000 grant, had 6 months to commence construction.
Due to the high take up of the grant, this timeline was putting external pressures on the industry, customers, suppliers and trades.  
Some of these variables include:
- Developer title dates being pushed out
- Accessing enough trades, materials and building supplies
- Council delays
- Customer finance delays
- Third party entity timelines such as soil reports from engineers and developer approvals
Due to the amount of construction going on around the country, these variables are taking much longer than normal making HomeBuilder applicants nervous that their home may not commence within the required window and therefore, missing out on the relied government funds.
However, in some very welcome news, the Federal government recently announced a national extension to the grant stretching the construction site start to now be 18 months from when building contracts were signed. This gives eligible applicants a lot more security and confidence on receiving the government funds and allowing more time for those external variables that may have not come through yet.
In the below video, our National General Manager, Louis Sultan along with the Federal Housing Minister, Michael Sukkar MP on what this positive news means for Burbank home builders.