What the government’s new HomeBuilder grants mean for you

person working on architect floor plan

Sue Hewitt

Posted June 10, 2020

Everything you need to know about the new HomeBuilder grants and how to apply.

Confused about the federal government's new HomeBuilder grants? The aim of the stimulus, which was announced last week, is to give the building industry a boost by offering Australians who want to build or renovate their homes a cash incentive to go ahead and get started. But why is the government offering these 25k contributions and who is eligible for them? Here is everything you need to know about the new HomeBuilder grants, plus how to apply.

Everything you need to know about the HomeBuilder grants

What is the HomeBuilder grant? 

It’s a time-limited grant of $25,000 for owner-occupiers to go toward the cost of building a new home or substantially renovating an existing home, including demolishing the home and rebuilding. 

Why is the government offering this? 

To stimulate the residential building market and help create jobs as the building industry recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. 

Who is eligible? 

You must be a private home owner and an Australian citizen aged over 18. It’s not available for companies or trusts. The grant is available to individuals with annual income up to $125,000 a year, or couples with a combined income of up to $200,000, based on 2018-19 tax returns.  

I’m not a first-home buyer, am I eligible? 

Yes, it applies to all owner-occupiers. 

Is it available on all buildings?

It’s available for all dwelling types including houses, apartments, house-and-land packages and off-the-plan packages, but must meet certain criteria.

  • The grant is available for new homes built as a principal place of residence, where the value does not exceed $750,000. This includes homes purchased off the plan.
  • It is available for substantial renovations, costing between $150,000 and $750,000, of your existing home, where the value of the existing property does not exceed $1.5 million. 
man in orange hi visibility vest raking dirt on building site

Cash grants of $25,000 for owner-occupiers to go toward the cost of building a new home.

Does it cover investment properties?

It is not available to build or renovate investment properties.

Does it cover garages and pools?

It can’t be used for additions to a property such as swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, sheds or stand-alone garages. 

Can I put it towards energy-efficient features, such as solar systems?

Yes. The grant can fund sustainable home features as part of your overall project, including such things as solar power and batteries, draught-sealing, insulation and heat pumps for heating, cooling and hot water, and more, to increase your home's energy efficiency.

Is there a time limit?

Yes. Contracts to build a new home or renovate must be signed between now and  31 December, 2020 allowing the necessary time for home buyers to arrange their finance approvals, building approvals and meet other legal requirements before work is required to commence, rather than the fixed three month timeframe initially announced.

Is it tax-exempt?

A HomeBuilder grant will not be taxed.

Can it be combined with other grants?

It can be combined with other state and federal government grant schemes, including the First Home Owner Grant, First Home Super Saver Scheme and First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. The process will be aligned to the current timing of payments for first home owner grants for new homes.

Which authority administers the scheme in Victoria?

The State Revenue Office will administer the HomeBuilder program in Victoria on behalf of the Australian government. Information about how to apply for HomeBuilder will be published on its website as soon as it is available. 


couple standing outside white home with sold sign

If you've got a stable job, now is not a bad time to be buying a house.

I already own land and intend to build, does this affect the project cost eligibility?

Whether you owned land before the HomeBuilder grant announcement on 4 June, or buy it afterwards, the total value of both the land and house must not exceed $750,000.

I intend to knock down my existing house and rebuild, am I eligible?

If your existing house and land does not exceed $1.5 million in value, and you demolish the house to rebuild, this will be deemed a substantial renovation, and therefore subject to the renovation price range of $150,000 to $750,000 to be eligible for the grant. 

Is the program capped?

No, the program is uncapped but the government expects it will cost $680 million, which is about 27,000 grants.

I plan to build or renovate myself without builders, am I eligible?

No. Renovations or building work must be undertaken by a registered or licensed building service contractor who is named as a builder on the building licence or permit. 

How can I apply?

Information on when and how to apply will become available through the relevant State or Territory revenue office in due course.


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