Is It Too Late To Sign Up For the Building Grants?
The HomeBuilder and Building Bonus grants have done exactly what they were intended to do … stimulate the construction industry. Even though the state government has extended the time frame to start on site to 12 months, the federal start deadline remains at 3 months. So, is it too late to sign your building contract and receive the grants?
With the influx of new enquiries and contract signings generated by the grants, the WA housing industry is working at above capacity. Most builders have signed on 2 years worth of work in the past 4 months and the challenge is now to get all of these jobs to site so that the client can apply for their rebates. There are a few obstacles in the way including finance, council approvals, and trade availability.
As with all businesses, banks and councils had to stand down staff during the pandemic and many of the staff still working are doing it remotely. This means that approval times have stretched from weeks to months. Once you do have all of your finance and building approvals, the next challenge for your builder is to find trades available to get the earthworks and slab complete before the deadline. There are currently hundreds (if not thousands) of homes scheduled to go to site in WA in the next three months. There are not thousands of earthworkers and concreters.
So what does this all mean for you? Basically, if you want to receive the Federal HomeBuilder grant, you’re too late. Any builder in good conscience could not guarantee that, even if you sign a contract by the 31st Dec, that they can get the job to site within the 3 month deadline. Yes, there are opportunities to apply for a 3 month time extension but these are, as yet, untested. There is still opportunity to be eligible for the State Building Bonus grant but you need to be careful …
The lead up to Christmas is always a busy time for the building industry. This year, even more so! If you are only just starting to look for a builder, you need to remember that choosing a quality builder takes time. There is no point rushing in to meet the contract deadline only to find out that a) you’re not getting the home you want and b) you’ve been hit by a price increase because the sales guesstimate you were given wasn’t comprehensive.
Our advice … if you haven’t signed your contract by now – wait until 2021. Wait for the builder of your choice. Wait for the time to get your design and specification to exactly what you want. Wait to be given a comprehensive cost analysis so that there are no costly surprises. Wait for the quality, in demand trades. Good things come to those who wait!