ACT's HomeBuilder demand surpasses expectations

By Gerv Tacadena | 12 Feb 2021

The Australian Capital Territory has reported an unexpectedly strong take-up for the HomeBuilder scheme, said Michael Sukkar, federal housing minister.

Sukkar said the ACT was only expected to register 500 applications for the scheme. The actual number, however, reached 2,000.

"As far as punching above its weight, the ACT being four times higher than what Treasury expected when we set up the program is a really phenomenal result," he said in a report in The Canberra Times.

ACT Senator Zed Seselja said the HomeBuilder scheme was received positively by many Canberrans who are in the process of acquiring a property from the existing projects.

For instance, the multi-unit DKSN development in Dickson has reported strong demand from buyers. Around 200 apartments in the development's second stage were boosted due to the grant.

"Here in the ACT to see those HomeBuilder projects going ahead is huge for the local industry," Seselja said.

In a separate report from the AAP, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the HomeBuilder scheme has exceeded expectations, with nearly 82,000 applications recorded across the country. These applications, if approved, will translate to a construction work pipeline worth $18bn.

The scheme was originally set to end by December but was recently extended to March this year. However, the size of the grants was trimmed down from $25,000 to $15,000. The scheme, however, is not likely to be extended further along with the other stimulus packages like JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

"All of these were designed as temporary, targeted, proportionate measures to stand in the gap in the crisis," Morrison said.

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