Grant extensions provide relief for all parties | Ralph Lauren

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Help is still available for eager homebuyers who missed deadlines for last year’s homebuilding grants, with favourable construction industry conditions carrying over to the new year.

To battle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a slew of positive government and private lending measures were introduced in 2020, which created waves of activity in the Western Australian homebuilding sector.

After struggling to keep up with the demand for new homes, builders campaigned for the State and Federal Government to adjust the contract criteria under the Building Bonus and HomeBuilder schemes and give WA builders some end-of-year relief.

Answering the call, the Commonwealth announced a variety of changes to HomeBuilder, including a $15,000 giveaway for new builds and substantial renovations when contracts are signed before March 31, 2021 inclusive.

Limits were stretched for pending applications signed on or after June 4, 2020 to April 14, 2021 inclusive, regarding both the new $15,000 grant and the previous $25,000 on offer, while construction start time deadlines were also extended from three to six months.

Meanwhile, WA’s $147 million Building Bonus program changed, so builders now have one year to commence siteworks from the time their contract with buyers is signed.

Additionally, WA homebuyers who signed a building contract between June 4 and December 31, 2020 have until December 31, 2021 to lodge an application for the $20,000 grant.

Other helpful conditions for buyers in 2021 include continually low interest rates, with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s cash rate still sitting at the historic 0.1 per cent, leaving the Real Estate Institute of WA to claim that some buyers find it cheaper to buy than rent.

Moreover, first-time buyers still have access to the $10,000 First Home Owner Grant and a 75 per cent stamp duty rebate is available for people signing pre-construction contracts until October 23 inclusive.

The cashback offer, exclusively for off-the-plan apartment purchases, is also available for people who have signed contracts between June 4 and December 31 of last year, to purchase a new unit or apartment under construction.

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