The HomeBuilder Grant SA is a program (announced on 4 June 2020) by the Federal Government to assist eligible owner-occupiers to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home, or buy an off-the-plan/new home. If you’re unsure if you’re eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant SA and want to learn more, read on or get in touch with our conveyancers. Interested in a different kind of grant? See here: Home Buyer Grants in South Australia



How much is the HomeBuilders Grant?

A non-taxable grant of $25,000 is available to eligible applicants who substantially renovate an existing home,  buy an off-the-plan or build a new home (where the build contract is signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 inclusive).

How does the 25K grant work?

Funding for the HomeBuilder Grant SA is provided by the Australian Government with an arrangement (under a National Partnership Agreement) for the South Australian Government to administer applications and payments for the Grant.

Subject to the eligibility criteria set out below, only one HomeBuilder Grant is payable for each property, even if the property changes ownership.

HomeBuilder Grant eligibility: how do I qualify for a 25k grant?

In order to be eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant, all applicants must:

  • be a natural person (not a company or trust);
  • be at least 18 years of age at time of entering the eligible transaction;
  • be an Australian citizen at the time of application (permanent residents are not eligible);
  • not have previously received the HomeBuilder Grant in any other Australian state or territory;
  • meet the following income tests for the full financial year of either 2018-19 or 2019-20:
    • individual applicant: taxable income of less than $125,000; or
    • couples: combined taxable income of less than $200,000.
  • own the land at the time a contract is entered into to build, buy or substantially renovate your home, or become the owner of the land on completion of the contract to build or buy the home.

Couples must be a legally married couple, a couple in a registered relationship (as defined in the Relationships Register Act 2016 (SA)), or a de facto couple living in a genuine domestic relationship.

Applicants may be eligible for the temporary HomeBuilder Grant as well as the South Australian Government’s 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme for the same transaction, if the applicant(s) meet the eligibility criteria for both of the grants.

Does the home need to be my principal place of residence?

Yes, the home must be your principal place of residence, and your residency in the home must commence and last within a set period of time.

To qualify for the HomeBuilder Grant SA, you (and any other applicant to your HomeBuilder Grant application) must:

  • retain ownership of the property and occupy it as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months; and
  • commence the above period of occupation within 12 months of the date of building or renovation completion.

It is important to note that investment properties are not eligible, and lifestyle villages and land-lease communities are only eligible if the applicant has a registered interest on the property’s certificate of title.

What are the conditions around eligible types of homes?

The home must:

  • be located in South Australia;
  • be fixed to your land;
  • be able to be lawfully used as a place of residence; and
  • be a suitable building for use as a place of residence.

What types of building or sales contracts are eligible?

  • You must enter into a contract to build, buy or renovate between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (inclusive).
  • An off-the-plan/new home purchase or a sales contract (rather than a building contract) is eligible, but must meet the other eligibility criteria. Construction can have commenced prior to the date of the sales contract, however commencement must be on or after 4 June 2020.
  • The building work undertaken on your home must be undertaken by a person who currently holds a relevant licence as required under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (but not an owner builder) and held that licence on 4 June 2020.
  • The contract to build, buy or renovate your home cannot include any work undertaken by a family member or related person.*
  • no applicant is able to perform work under the contract, whether they are paid or not;
  • contracts must be made at arm’s length;
  • contract prices must be at market rates and cannot be artificially inflated or deflated; and
  • contracts cannot replace a previous transaction entered into before 4 June 2020 for the same or substantially similar home or renovation

*‘Related person’ is defined very broadly and includes your spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, parent, grandparent and collateral relatives (cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles) as well as any company, trust or partnership in which you, or any of your relatives, are a shareholder, director, trustee, beneficiary or partner;

Eligibility – the value of the property and the transaction:

With the HomeBuilders Grant SA, there are transaction and market value limits that apply. They are as follows:

  • Contract to build (house and land package): consideration for the full house and land contract must be $750,000 or less.
  • Contract to build on land you already own: the combined amount for the building contract plus the market value of the land must be $750 000 or less.
  • Substantial renovation: 
      • The amount of the contract must be between $150,000 and $750,000 inclusive.
      • Market value of the land (including the home) on the date the contract is signed is no more than $1,500,000.
  • Contract to purchase a new home: the amount of the contract must be $750,000 or less.

What happens if there is a change in transaction value?

If the value of your transaction changes from the amount you have declared on your application, and the new value causes you to breach the above market value limits, you must notify RevenueSA within 14 days of the date you become aware of the change. If you have already been paid the HomeBuilder Grant and the transaction value exceeds the above limits, you will be required to pay back the HomeBuilder Grant.

What is considered a ‘substantial renovation’?

A substantial renovation can be either:

  • making a considerable change to your home; or
  • demolishing your home and building a new home on the land.

Substantial renovations are taken to mean that the renovation will:

  • substantially alter the existing dwelling (although this need not involve the removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases); and
  • improve the accessibility, safety or liveability of the home (or land by building a new home).

Given the above criteria, a substantial renovation does not generally include:

  • stand-alone granny flats, swimming pools, tennis courts, and structures not connected to the building such as outdoor spas, saunas, sheds or stand-alone garages; or
  • renovations that are primarily cosmetic in purpose such as landscaping, painting or re-carpeting.

More information:

How do I apply for the HomeBuilder Grant?

To apply for the HomeBuilder Grant SA, you’ll need to lodge your completed HomeBuilder Grant application (and all the requested documentary evidence) with RevenueSA.

If you haven’t commenced construction when you apply and you meet all other eligibility criteria, you may be provided conditional approval. You will also l need to provide evidence that construction has commenced within three months of the signing of the contract in order to receive final approval and payment.

How we can assist you, even in the early stages

Even if you’re still only considering buying a property or land to build a new home, it’s never too early to involve a conveyancer – especially as a first home buyer. We can help to make this high stakes decision and complex legal process as stress free as possible.

When you choose Eckermanns, you can take advantage of Eckermann Assist, our dedicated out-of-office communication service for all contract, auction, Form 1 or conveyancing queries.

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