Hunter – HomeBuilder update
Both the Federal and State Governments have identified the development industry as the key engine to drive an economic recovery out of COVID-19. The industry employs a quarter of NSW, with every new home creating at least 9 new jobs. The Federal HomeBuilder program is a recognition of the importance of our sector. While its take-up has been strong nationally, UDIA is raising serious concerns that HomeBuilder will not bring forward enough greenfield lot sales to make an impact in NSW due to timing issues and eligibility criteria.
UDIA is raising concerns that the HomeBuilder program has been designed with tight eligibility criteria that limit its uptake.
UDIA has been in further discussion with Revenue NSW to determine how this scheme can be applied most fairly in our State. Revenue NSW has been generous with its timetable with regard to delays in construction commencement.
The scheme allows a maximum extension of an additional three months where Revenue NSW is satisfied that the delay in commencement of construction is due to unforeseen factors outside the control of the parties to the contract (e.g. extreme weather or building or planning approvals).
There are serious concerns that HomeBuilder will not bring forward enough greenfield lot sales even with an extension due to delayed construction start times. UDIA has surveyed our members and determined that a further three-month time extension on commencement until 30 June 2021 would result in an additional 755 greenfield lots – particularly in the Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra regions.
Potential additional greenfield lots to be unlocked by Policy Changes: UDIA NSW Survey
If Revenue NSW extends construction timeline by 3 months
If the time for contracts to be signed was extended until 31 March, then a further 560 new greenfield lots could be unlocked, and a further 1155 greenfield lots if construction commencement were extended to commence by 30 September.
If Federal Government extends contract signing date by 3 months
UDIA continues to advocate for an extension of HomeBuilder so that our local economies can fully benefit.