Australia’s construction industry took a big hit as the country closed its doors to fight back the global COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of uncertainty and financial pressure, thousands of would-be home building projects were put on hold or abandoned.

But now you can expect to see a lot of new developments in Melbourne over the next 12 months, thanks to a Federal Government scheme to reignite the construction industry.


What is the HomeBuilder grant?

HomeBuilder is a Federal Government initiative offering $25,000 grants for eligible Australians embarking on construction or renovation projects. The national scheme is expected to cost in the realm of $688 million as it rolls out, and help more than 27,000 individuals and couples to build or renovate their home.

HomeBuilder will provide grants up to $25,000 to eligible owner-builders or renovators, in a bid to save construction jobs put at risk during the coronavirus slowdown. Not everyone will qualify for HomeBuilder, but those who do could stand to significantly benefit from the boost in funding.

For anyone hesitating before building their dream home or purchasing off-the-plan from new developments in Melbourne, HomeBuilder could be the deciding factor. First home buyers in Melbourne can stack HomeBuilder and the First Home Owners Grant for a combined $35,000 towards building their first home, and in regional Victoria that increases by another $10,000.

Are there criteria for who can access HomeBuilder? And for what amount?

HomeBuilder is restricted to owner-occupiers and comes with a few caveats; however, the criteria are far from exclusive. To be eligible, the Government says you must be ready to put some “skin in the game”.

What does that mean? Let us explain who is eligible in more detail.


Income test

  • Individuals earning less than $125,000

  • Couples earning less than $200,000 combined


Building value and type

  • New buildings with a combined house and land value under $750,000

  • Renovated homes cannot be worth more than $1.5 million before renovations

  • Can be an off-the-plan home or apartment, new home, knockdown rebuild or renovation


Cut-off date

  • Building contracts must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020

  • Construction must start within 3 months of the contract date


Other criteria

  • Not available for investment properties, commercial premises or non-residents

  • Must be 18 or older and able to demonstrate income with a tax return (FY18/19 or later)

  • Renovations must improve the safety, liveability or accessibility of your home

  • No requirement to be a first home builder


If you don’t qualify for the government’s HomeBuilder scheme, you might qualify for Castran Gilbert’s $25,000 grant.

Does HomeBuilder apply to renovations as well?

While the focus of HomeBuilder is to kick-start new developments in Melbourne and around the country, the grant is also open to owner-occupiers wanting to renovate their home. Renovators will need to shell out at least $150,000 of their own money (up to $750,000) and the total property value – including land – cannot exceed $1.5 million before renovation.

The home cannot be an investment property or commercial building, and adding a swimming pool or tennis court won’t meet the requirements.


How to access the grant

If you are thinking about buying off-the-plan in Melbourne or developing a block of land, contact us to find out how our sales agents can help you make the most of the HomeBuilder grant, as well as any other benefits and incentives available to you.

As the name behind some of the most iconic new developments in Melbourne for the last 30 years, Castran Gilbert is here to help you get the best results.