CQ homeowners excited about $25,000 cash grab
Chris Warren’s office was inundated by phone calls today as prospective and current homeowners learned of the Government’s six-month $25,000 HomeBuilder cash splash.
“Locals are excited by the HomeBuilder grants scheme, but will need some guidance in understanding the eligibility and application guidelines,” the Rockhampton builder said today after details of the new home/renovations stimulus package were released.
“We think it’s a great move in terms of keeping our employees on the job.”
Queensland residents will be offered the choice of two different HomeBuilder incentives, in an attempt to revitalise the sluggish building industry.
Last week, the Master Builders Association urged the government to offer a $40,000 package for owner/occupiers of new builds, but the government announced that figure will be $25,000 for homes up to $750,000 in cost.
However, it also revealed a $25,000 payment for existing homeowners undertaking significant renovations providing the cost was a minimum of $150,000.
Regional manager of Master Builders Queensland, Dennis Bryant, said the $688 million initiative will not only secure jobs within the industry, but also have a “multiplier” effect throughout the local economy.
“In any transaction, there are between three and seven dollars generated for every dollar that changes hand,” he said.
“Yes, there are people who will miss out – such as pool, shed and spa suppliers – but these grants will go a long way to keeping locals in the industry employed.”
The number of new builds in Queensland halved, from 42,000 last year to a projected 21,000 this year.
Mr Bryant said the government provided the “basic outline” of the grants scheme in today’s announcements, but the rules and processes by which homeowners can apply are yet to be worked out.
The grants apply to work contracts signed by December 31 which must begin within three months.
“I think there will be people out there who were planning a lower value renovation will seize on this opportunity to get more work done,” he said.
“If someone was undertaking a $120,000 renovation, for example, they would now be looking at maybe adding an extra bedroom or ensuite to take the costs up to the $150,000 minimum.”
Mr Bryant urges homeowners in Central Queensland to read the fine print when it comes to means tests, five per cent finance deposits and homeowners warranty insurance.
At this point, it is assumed people who are eligible for the Federal Government First Home Owner grant of $15,000, which has been on offer for 20 years, will be eligible for both, bringing their total payments to $40,000.
Michelle Landry MP also welcomed the grants as a “welcome shot in the arm” for the local building industry.
“The best way to boost apprentice and tradie numbers is for them to have a strong pipeline of work which is why the HomeBuilder program is so important,” she said.
“Unlike Labor we see business at the centre of the economy, not government.”