Calls to extend the hugely popular HomeBuilder scheme due to COVID-19 construction delays have fallen flat.
Calls to extend the hugely popular HomeBuilder scheme due to COVID-19 construction delays have fallen flat.

Last day of HomeBuilder - there'll be no more extensions

The federal government has ruled out a further extension to the HomeBuilder grant despite trade and material shortages blowing out construction deadlines.

Applications closed on Wednesday for the $15,000 grant, and industry heads had pushed for an extension to the build window to ensure eligible applicants didn't miss out.

To be eligible, applicants had to meet strict criteria relating to income and the value of works completed, and construction had to start within six months of a building contract being signed.

MORE: HomeBuilder: Australia faces $2bn-plus bill as applications tipped to top 100k

HomeBuilder's success has a dark side with building prices set to increase

Buyer frenzy reported at new estates ahead of deadline for HomeBuilder scheme

The program was extended once from its initial end date in December last year.

Burbank Group managing director Jarrod Sanfilippo argued earlier this month the build window should be extended to accommodate for COVID-19 related construction delays caused by difficulties importing steel, tiles, stone and timber.

RELATED: HomeBuilder extended in Victoria due to stage four lockdown

HomeBuilder grant extension: Victoria to cash in with more time

How to apply for $25K HomeBuilder grant, Victoria

"And extending the construction deadline would not mean more people accessing the grants, it would just ensuring that everyone who signed up for the grant receives it," he said.

But on Wednesday Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said no further extension to the scheme was being considered.

It’s estimated almost half of the 6508 land sales made across Melbourne and its surrounding regions in the December quarter were eligible for HomeBuilder.
It’s estimated almost half of the 6508 land sales made across Melbourne and its surrounding regions in the December quarter were eligible for HomeBuilder.

He said the grant had "done its job" by ensuring construction projects were in the pipeline and tradies stayed in jobs.

"HomeBuilder is expected to generate in excess of $18bn worth of construction projects at a time when our economy needs it," Mr Sukkar said.

RPM Real Estate figures show 6508 land sales were made across Melbourne and its surrounding regions in the December quarter.

It was estimated half of these were snapped up by buyers eligible for HomeBuilder.

Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe said ending the grant program now was the right call.

COVID-19 related delays have created shortages in construction materials.
COVID-19 related delays have created shortages in construction materials.

He said the program had kept small and large construction companies afloat during the pandemic, but any further extension risked further driving up the cost of land and building projects.

"Ninety eight per cent of people will say to you, 'the grant needs to be extended or the world's going to fall on its head', but there just needs to be a pause because otherwise it could become inflationary," Mr Costelloe said.

Government figures show more than 96,720 applications were made, almost a third of which were made by Victorians.

Should all the grants be successful, the government outlay is estimated to be upwards of $2bn.

Wyndham in Melbourne's outer west has been the biggest winner. See our hot spots.

Sign up to the Herald Sun Weekly Real Estate Update. Click here to get the latest Victorian property market news delivered direct to your inbox.

MORE: Stephen Akehurst-designed Portsea 'compound' with two houses

Bentleigh East Art Deco house has barn-style studio

Altona beachfront home has bathroom, toilet with no walls

rebecca.dinuzzo@news.com.au

Originally published as Last day of HomeBuilder: no more extensions

More than 96,720 grant applications were made, almost a third of which were made by Victorians.
More than 96,720 grant applications were made, almost a third of which were made by Victorians.

‘Severely obese’ Queenslanders to have first grab at jab

Premium Content ‘Severely obese’ Queenslanders to have first grab at jab

Qlders classified as “severely obese” now eligible for priority jab

Queen sits alone as William, Harry show surprising unity

Premium Content Queen sits alone as William, Harry show surprising unity

The Queen has farewelled Prince Philip during an emotional funeral

NBN funding gives new ‘wings’ to cyber savvy Butterflies

Premium Content NBN funding gives new ‘wings’ to cyber savvy Butterflies

$10k innovation award from NBN has made a digital world of difference