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Incentives spark building boom

Posted: 9am 30 Oct 2020

Property developers and builders say there is a construction boom across the region as they and their customers benefit from the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme.

The grants, announced in June to stimulate the construction industry and subsequently the economy, provide $25,000 to eligible owner-occupiers to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home when the contract is signed between June 4 and December 31, 2020.

When combined with existing State Government first home owner grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other programs, it has provided significant incentives for first home owners to build rather than buy.

Visible impact

Stockland Senior Development Manager Blair Britton says there has been strong demand for its Newport development as a result.

“We’ve fast-tracked land releases and the construction of 18 townhomes, so more Australians can make use of the grant and realise the dream of home ownership, with another 18 townhomes set to be released before Christmas,” Mr Bitton says.

“It’s no surprise the majority of purchasers have been first home buyers either. With the Queensland Government’s First Home Owner Grant of $15,000 towards a first home and HomeBuilder’s $25,000 incentive, there’s never been a better time to build in the Moreton Bay Region.”

Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth visited the Newport development last week to see the activity first-hand.

“The Morrison Government’s economic plan is delivering support through the HomeBuilder program to create local jobs in the construction industry and giving local families the opportunity they need to get into a home of their own,” Mr Howarth says.

“Since the program was announced first home buyers have flooded the market, in Queensland loans for the construction of new houses has increased by 26.2 percent.

“This means more tradies working on the tools, more suppliers supplying materials, more retail workers selling trades equipment and more houses in the market.”

Ideal time to build

Porter Davis Queensland State Manager Grant Whinnett says developers and builders are offering fantastic deals and incentives, the banks are offering record-low interest rates and this has been overlayed by the Federal Government’s stimulus.

“It really motivates consumers and it makes home building a lot more affordable,” Mr Whinnett says.

“We’re seeing in excess of 35 per cent volume increase as a direct result of the home builder stimulus that the government has put forward.”

This is across South East Queensland, but there is particularly strong demand in the Moreton Bay Region.

“It’s definitely giving tradespeople and suppliers renewed confidence about the market. It’s keeping them employed,” he says.

What are people building?

The majority of first home builders were opting for single house dwellings, because they were the most affordable, but affordable double-storey homes were also an option many were going for.

There is a diverse range of people, of varying ages, building as a result.

“We’re seeing the whole range – professionals, blue collar workers. It’s had a profound impact across all segments,” Mr Whinnett said.

The business has had to grow its sales, operations and construction teams to deal with demand.

It has also been good for suppliers, with increased orders.

“We’ll see confidence well and truly into the new calendar year,” he said.

Fast-tracking land releases

It’s a similar story at North Harbour, with a significant uptake in interest and purchase of land since the incentive was announced, according to Project Director Bryan Finney.

“We have delivered an additional three stages of development this year, $5 million worth of work and the jobs that come with it,” he explains.

When the announcement was made, it was fortunate North Harbour was in the final stages of completing a stage and had another stage in progress. It had 30-40 lots available and these sold in two weeks.

Four stages are now expected to be finished by the end of the year.

The flow-on effect is that home builders had work soon after and a significant chunk of these lots are now in various stages of home building.

Generally, the most popular product is a single-storey home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Terrace homes are also proving to be a good entry-level option, with three bedrooms and one garage for less than $400,000.

“I think it would be pretty quiet without it, absolutely. I suspect we would have had only commenced work on one stage this year, if it hadn’t been for the HomeBuilder grant,” Mr Finney says.

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