New home sales soar as Queenslanders snap up grants
New home sales are booming above pre-COVID levels, as thousands of Queenslanders have signed up to secure $25,000 HomeBuilder grants.
As of October 9, than 2000 Queenslanders have applied to secure the cash to build a new home and another 466 are seeking to use it for major renovations - a higher take up than any other state bar Victoria.
The latest data on the stimulus package will be released today, just after the Housing Industry Association released a report which showed a 50 per cent jump in new home sales compared to the four months prior to the start of the program.
New home sales have also been higher in each month since it began than any month in the past two years, according to the report.
Labor has been critical of the scheme, saying it was "too small and rolling out to slowly", pointing to the minimal number of grants actually paid out to date.
The take up is still well short of the 6300 Queenslanders that were forecast to take up the HomeBuilder scheme, which gives $25,000 grants to people building a new home or doing a substantial renovation, before it ends on December 31.
The HIA New Home Sales Report for September 2020 found new home sales in Queensland surged almost 40 per cent between June and September, though noted they had begun to plateau.
HIA Chief Economist Tim Reardon said HomeBuilder had provided consumer confidence for people who had delayed major investment decisions, while it had brought some buyers into the market who would have otherwise put off the purchase.
Housing Minister Michael Sukkar said the increase in new home sales meant the stimulus was providing jobs for tradies that might have otherwise been lost due to the pandemic.
"Across the board the construction industry is saying that HomeBuilder is delivering for Australia's tradies and home buyers, which is driving stimulus in the economy at a time its needed most," he said.
Labor has been critical of the scheme, pointing to data from September 11 which showed at that time while there had been 1200 applications for the scheme in Queensland, just 38 of the $25,000 grants had been paid out.
Opposition housing spokesman Jason Clare said the scheme was too restrictive.
"It's too small, it's rolling out too slowly. The other part of the scheme which is a problem is the time frame is too short," he said.
Payment of the grant is made by State Government's to eligible recipients after significant activity has occurred.
Originally published as New home sales soar as Queenslanders snap up grants