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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Cerantonio

The Australian dream of home ownership may be closer than you think

What the announced housing and construction stimulus means for you and your home.

This week the Federal Government has announced plans to further contribute to first home buyers and existing homeowners, by introducing a new means-tested grant scheme which aims to encourage the building and renovation of Australian homes.

The fourth Coronavirus stimulus is an attempt to boost the housing and construction industry amid fears of an industry-wide slowdown caused by implications of COVID-19.

Historically fallen outside of eligibility criteria for similar federal initiatives, those wishing to renovate an existing home may now be eligible for the proposed grants.

As a homeowner or new home buyer, what’s in it for you?

After great speculation this week post an announcement made Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced what extra support is now available for homeowners and first home buyers, as part of the new stimulus package exceeding $1 Billion of federal funding.

From today (4th June) until December 31st the newly announced Home Buyers cash grant will provide eligible Australians with $25,000 to put toward new home builds and existing home renovations.

It's understood the Government will require recipients to make a sizeable investment themselves in order to be eligible.

"It's not just the sparkie and the plumber and the carpenter on the building site, it's also the timber mill, it's also the appliance manufacturer for the new kitchen. It's also those who help with the materials that go into the bathroom." Says federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg.

As per the existing First Home Buyers grants, these housing packages are Federal Government funded, but state and territory counterparts are expected to roll out complimentary stimulus packages on residential construction within their own jurisdictions.

Am I eligible?

As with any Government-led grant initiative, limits and conditions are have been put in place for the $25,000 cash grants.

For eligibility, contracts of construction must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020,

Means testing for buyers and owners have been outlined; For single households, eligible earnings must be below $125,000 per annum, for couples a combined income of less than $200,000 per annum.

In addition, the homeowner(s) must reside at the property, investment properties are ineligible.

For new home builds, the value of the construction may not exceed $750,000. Likewise, renovations must be to the value of $150,000 (ruling out small projects) and performed on a property not exceeding $1.5M in value.

In terms of specifics when it comes to the types of renovations worthy of the grant, the Morrison Government has stipulated that the alterations to the home must be inside the house’s structure. Outside amenities such as pools and tennis courts do not meet the requirements.

How does the Home Buyers grant fit in with other already existing government lead homeownership grants?

New homeowners can now access the $25,000 alongside the First Homeowners Scheme, equating to $10-$20,000 in Victoria dependant on your locality, as well as the First Home Low Deposit Scheme (FHLDS).

It is clear this new initiative will best benefit those Australians looking to purchase their first home, specifically building their first home within the residential construction space.

More details to come July 1st.

For those interested in hearing how they may be eligible to receive the $25,000 Home Buyers Grant or looking to buy their first home, please get in touch via the below;

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