HomeBuilder boosts property sentiment

By Gerv Tacadena

If there is one proof that the HomeBuilder scheme continues to support the housing market sentiment, it would be the latest figures showing the number of applications lodged in each state or territory Revenue Office.

As of 9 October 2020, state and territory Revenue Offices have received 11,367 HomeBuilder grant applications. Victoria recorded the highest number of applications at 4,176, followed by Queensland and New South Wales.

"The figures show HomeBuilder is off to a much stronger start than forecast. Given the construction industry’s long project lead times this level of applications was not expected until November," said Michael Sukkar, minister for housing.

These figures indicate renewed confidence in Australia's property industry. According to the ANZ/Property Council Survey for the December quarter, the HomeBuilder and other stimulus measures continue to support the residential construction industry. In fact, 75% of developers believe that the HomeBuilder scheme will have a positive impact on their businesses.

"As the scheme has become available in all states and territories, we have seen a big lift in sentiment among those in residential development. HomeBuilder is the pop star of government stimulus measures released so far – highly effective, immediate and good value for money," said Ken Morrison, chief executive of Property Council.

The latest sales data from the Housing Industry Association provide further proof of the scheme's positive impact. The HIA figures showed that new home sales were 11.8% higher in the seven months after COVID-19 restrictions came to effect compared to the same time last year.

Tim Reardon, chief economist at the HIA, said the scheme has been successful in providing consumer confidence for those customers that had delayed a major investment decision earlier in the year.

“The program has also brought buyers into the market that would otherwise not been able to purchase their first home for a number of years," he said.

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