15/10/2020 | Rob Lucas MLC | More Jobs | Lower Costs

SA's housing and construction industry is bracing for a ‘tsunami’ of building activity over the next 9 to 12 months.

More than 1,100 applications for the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant received by the State Government, hundreds more are also expected by the end of the year.

The Federal grants have already started heading out the door, with 64 grants paid (or about to be paid), while another 159 applicants have received conditional approval*.

Of these, some are also receiving the State Government’s $15,000 First Home Owner Grant – providing them a combined $40,000 head start into home ownership.

Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the enormous surge in construction activity as a sign of burgeoning confidence in the local economy, with the scheme supporting thousands of local jobs, including tradies such as chippies, sparkies, bricklayers and plumbers.

“This program is going gangbusters, with a huge groundswell of interest in the grants from South Australians wanting to build a new home, or renovate an existing property,” said Mr Lucas.

"HomeBuilder is a welcome shot in the arm for our state's critical housing and construction sector, which supports thousands of local jobs - from carpenters, plumbers and bricklayers to electricians, architects and other suppliers.

“We’ve had more than 1100 applications to date, grants have started going out the door and industry representatives have advised us hundreds more are expected by the end of the year.

“In fact, we understand some builders have chosen to stop signing new customers, reflecting their concerns about their ability to secure tradespeople.”

Under the scheme, contracts must be signed between June 4 and December 31 (inclusive) this year, and construction must commence within 3 months of the contract date.

However, Mr Lucas has written to Federal Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, seeking a blanket extension of three months to the construction commencement requirement for all HomeBuilder applicants in SA.

If approved, this would mean that all local HomeBuilder applicants would have six months in which to commence construction from the date of signing the build contract (without the need to seek an extension from the Commissioner of State Revenue on a case-by-case basis^, as is the current case).

Eligible applicants will be paid the grant as follows:

· For new builds, the grant will be paid at the first progress payment;

· For substantial renovations, the grant will be paid once at least $150,000 of the contract price has been paid in respect of the renovation; and

· For new home/off the plan contracts, the grant will be paid on evidence of the title transferring to the new owner

· Applications must be received by RevenueSA by 31 December 2020.

*The application process allows for conditional approval where all other criteria have been met, in advance of evidence that construction has commenced within 3 months of the contract being signed.

For new builds, construction is taken to have commenced when site excavation is complete.

^Where an applicant is unable to meet the commencement timeframe because of unforeseen factors outside of their control – eg delays in obtaining council approvals, or delays in financial institutions assessing and approving finance – the applicant may apply to the Commissioner of State Taxation to exercise discretion to extend the period by 3 months.

For more information and to download the application form: visit https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/HomeBuilder