Group calls for HomeBuilder expansion

by Madison Utley30 Jun 2020

The HomeBuilder stimulus package should be extended and expanded to allow more people to take advantage of the scheme, according to a Queensland-based property developer.

While KDL Property Group reported its residential housing estates saw a 100% jump in inquiry after the initiative was announced, managing director Kent Leicester has highlighted certain struggles the company is facing while dealing with the scheme; namely, applicants are struggling to qualify by the December 31 deadline and confusion remains around eligibility and how to access the grant.

“I think the program will need to be extended beyond December 31 and also more clarification provided in regards to eligibility,” said Leicester.

Currently, HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home if the contract is signed between 4 June and 31 December 2020, and as long as construction commences within three months of the contract date.

“It’s proving to be very difficult for applicants to have everything locked in within such a short time. If people can’t lock down a time for construction to start on their new home or renovation, then they could miss out,” Leicester explained.

“Buyers are also confused about how to access the grant and whether they can use it towards a house and land package like they do with a first home owners grant, or if it gets paid out later to assist with construction payments.”

However, despite his concerns, Leicester does not doubt HomeBuilder is helping generate sales for developers in new estates on registered or soon to be registered land.

KDL has recently launched Hampton Pallara, a $20.4m project at Pallara in Brisbane’s southwest which will feature 61 home sites. According to Leicester, the response from first home buyers "has been huge”.

“Despite the economic uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe they have been attracted due to HomeBuilder stimulus, which when added to state government funding gives them a $40,000 head start,” he concluded.