Aussie Home Loans has reported an “influx” in enquiries over the last week, following the announcement of the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme.
According to the major brokerage, calls have almost doubled in the past week, as customers seek to understand their eligibility for the scheme.
The $688-million HomeBuilder package was launched last week to drive economic activity across the residential construction sector.
It consists of a $25,000 grant for owner-occupiers “substantially renovating” or building a new home from 4 June to 31 December 2020.
A national price cap of $750,000 has been set for new home builds, and a renovation price range of $150,000 to $750,000 will apply to renovating an existing home with a current value of no more than $1.5 million.
The grants are also means tested, with the government setting income caps of $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples. An applicant’s eligibility will be based on their latest assessable income.
Following the announcement of the new package, Aussie CEO James Symond said the major brokerage was “seeing extraordinary demand from consumers for guidance from our brokers around the country to help them understand their options”.
“Aussie brokers are helping customers understand the conditions and timelines to take advantage of what is an important scheme to get the construction and property market – our largest asset class – moving again,” he said.
“It is important to get applications in quickly as demand for HomeBuilder, which runs concurrently with state government schemes, has seen close to half the limit of 27,000 applications already lodged,” he added.
According to Mr Symond, customers are seeking not only to clarify their eligibility for the grant, but also details on accessing the grant in conjunction with other government schemes, and how their home loan plays a part in the process.
The Aussie CEO has previously warned applicants not to “rush in” to the scheme before considering their financing options.
“We welcome the $688-million government program and encourage owner-occupiers seeking the grant to receive guidance from a broker to help them understand their options,” he said last week.
“Those eligible will need to carefully assess how to finance their build or renovation to take advantage of the HomeBuilder scheme.
“The government scheme comes with a range of conditions, timelines and a limited number of grants available, so it is important for Australians not to hesitate, but also not to rush in without understanding their financing options.”
Mr Symond added that by consulting a broker, borrowers could reap the benefits of both lower loan repayments and fiscal support from the government.
“A decision to see a broker could save borrowers money and years off their repayments over the life of the mortgage, while taking advantage of the HomeBuilder grant program,” he concluded.
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