• Estate Conveyancing

HomeBuilder Grant guidelines

On 29 November 2020, the Australian Government announced an extension to the HomeBuilder program to 31 March 2021, with a number of changes to the grant amount and criteria. This means you do not need to submit your application by 31 December 2020.

Key dates

  • 4 June 2020-31 December 2020 — enter into a contract to build or renovate between these dates to be eligible for the $25,000 grant.

  • 1 January 2021-31 March 2021 — enter into a contract to build or renovate between these dates to be eligible for the $15,000 grant.

  • 14 April 2021 — all applications, irrespective of when the building or renovation contract was entered into, must be submitted within the HomeBuilder application portal by this date.

While applications must be submitted by 14 April 2021, it does not mean that all supporting documents must be uploaded by then. You can continue uploading your supporting documents, as they become available, beyond 14 April 2021.

About HomeBuilder

HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home or buy an off-the-plan home/new home. A new home is one that has not previously been sold or occupied as a place of residence (e.g. a spec build) and where construction commenced on or after 4 June 2020.

With the Australian Government's extension of HomeBuilder to 31 March 2021, a $15,000 grant is now available for eligible contracts entered into between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 (inclusive). A $25,000 grant is available for eligible contracts entered into between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (inclusive).

While the eligible contract must be entered into between 4 June 2020 and 31 March 2021 (inclusive), construction need not commence before 31 March 2021. However, it must commence within six months of the contract date and construction cannot have commenced before 4 June 2020.

The Australian Government's HomeBuilder Grant is subject to the provisions of the National Partnership Agreement between the Victorian Government and the Australian Government.

The HomeBuilder Grant complements the existing First Home Owner Grant that is available in Victoria when you buy or build your first new home.

HomeBuilder applications

HomeBuilder Grant applications are to be lodged via the online portal and must be received by no later than 14 April 2021. While applications must be submitted by 14 April 2021, it does not mean that all supporting documents must be uploaded by then. You can continue uploading your supporting documents as they become available and beyond 14 April 2021.

Applicant(s) can lodge their application in a multi-step process with the initial lodgement after an eligible HomeBuilder contract has been entered into. Once commencement of construction and the payment eligibility requirement milestones have been met, any additional supporting documents should be lodged via the online portal.

We will advise you whether your application has been approved or declined, generally within 15 business days of a complete application being received. We are working on HomeBuilder applications in the order we receive them, including any additional documents we have asked you for. Due to the volume of applications, please be patient.

Before lodging your application, please read the following eligibility criteria, and the section on the supporting documents you will need to provide. You can also use our decision tool to check your eligibility.

Am I eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant?

Eligibility criteria

Eligible applicants

The HomeBuilder Grant is available to individual applicants and couples who are, or will be, registered as the owner on the certificate of title.

If you are the only person who is listed, or will be listed, on the certificate of title as owner of the property, you must apply as an individual applicant. If there is, or will be, more than one person listed on the certificate of title, they must jointly apply as a couple provided they meet the definition of ‘couple’.

Each applicant must be:

  • a natural person (not a company or trust),

  • aged 18 years or older at the date of the contract, and

  • an Australian citizen at the date of application.

The HomeBuilder Grant is only open to Australian citizens. Accordingly, permanent residents and/or visa holders are not eligible. Where two people are listed on the certificate of title as registered proprietors, they must apply for HomeBuilder as a couple and both applicants must meet the eligibility criteria, including the citizenship requirement.

When you must be registered on the certificate of title as the owner of the land or property depends on the type of contract you enter into:

  • For contracts to build, you must be registered on title as owner of the land by no later than the laying of foundations and the first progress payment is made.

  • For substantial renovations, you must be registered on the title as owner of the property at the time that you enter into the contract for renovation works.

  • For off-the-plan/new homes, you must be registered on the title as owner of the property when the building is completed and you are entitled to take possession of the home.

Applicant(s) must be below one of the following two income caps:

  • $125,000 per annum for an individual based on either your 2018-19 or 2019-20 taxable income, as shown on your notice of assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office, or

  • $200,000 per annum for a couple based on either your combined 2018-19 or 2019-20 taxable income, as shown on your notices of assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office.

A couple is considered as two people that are legally married, in a registered domestic relationship, or living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, excluding people related to each other, e.g. siblings.

Each applicant must not have previously received the HomeBuilder Grant for any property owned individually or jointly with another person in any Australian state or territory.

Each applicant must live in the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 6 months immediately on completion of construction, renovation or settlement.

Investment properties are excluded from the HomeBuilder program.

Eligible homes

The home must be:

  • located in Victoria,

  • fixed to your land,

  • suitable as a place of residence, and

  • owned, or will be owned, by you (both dwelling and land).

A home is only eligible to receive the HomeBuilder Grant once.

Eligible contracts

Eligible contracts entered into between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 A $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant is available for one of the following types of contracts entered into between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (inclusive):

  • A comprehensive home building contract to build a new home as your principal place of residence where the property value (house and land) does not exceed $750,000 (inclusive of GST).

  • A contract with a registered builder to substantially renovate your principal place of residence where the value is between $150,000 and $750,000 (inclusive of GST), and where the value of your existing house and land does not exceed $1.5 million. If you own a property (house and land) and demolish the house to rebuild, or your home was destroyed during the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires, these will be treated as a substantial renovation and subject to the same values.

  • Note: For a demolition and rebuild to be treated under the substantial renovation category, both the demolition and rebuild must occur on or after 4 June 2020. If the demolition occurred before 4 June 2020 (i.e. the property was vacant land as at that date), a contract to build will be treated under the comprehensive home building contract category.


  • A contract to purchase an off-the-plan home/new home as your principal place of residence where the contract price does not exceed $750,000 (inclusive of GST) and construction had not commenced prior to 4 June 2020.

In all cases, construction cannot have commenced before 4 June 2020. Construction must be undertaken by a registered or licensed building service 'contractor' who is named as a builder on the building licence or permit.

  • Where an eligible contract is entered into before 29 November 2020, the registered builder or developer must have a valid licence or registration before 4 June 2020.

  • Where an eligible contract is entered into on or after 29 November 2020, the registered builder or developer must have a valid licence or registration before 29 November 2020.

In all cases, a valid copy of the builder’s licence or registration needs to be provided to the applicant showing that a valid licence or registration was held, as detailed above. A copy of the builder’s licence or registration needs to be provided as part of your supporting documents. To satisfy the requirements of HomeBuilder, a builder would generally need to hold a domestic builder (unlimited) licence issued by the Victorian Building Authority, as this is usually required for a builder to enter into a comprehensive home building contract. However, a domestic builder (limited) licence may be acceptable for certain substantial renovations. This will be considered on a case by case basis and may depend on the renovation contract and type of limited licence held by the builder when they entered into the contract. The builder holding the limited licence would also need to be named as the builder on the building permit issued for the renovation.

Eligible contracts entered into between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 A $15,000 HomeBuilder Grant is available for one of the following types of contracts entered into between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 (inclusive):

  • A comprehensive home building contract to build a new home as your principal place of residence where the property value (house and land) does not exceed $850,000 (inclusive of GST).

  • A contract with a registered builder to substantially renovate your principal place of residence where the value is between $150,000 and $750,000 (inclusive of GST), and where the value of your existing house and land does not exceed $1.5 million. If you own a property (house and land) and demolish the house to rebuild, or your home was destroyed during the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires, these will be treated as a substantial renovation and subject to the same values.

  • Note: For a demolition and rebuild to be treated under the substantial renovation category, both the demolition and rebuild must occur on or after 4 June 2020. If the demolition occurred before 4 June 2020 (i.e. the property was vacant land as at that date), a contract to build will be treated under the comprehensive home building contract category.


  • A contract to purchase an off-the-plan home/new home as your principal place of residence where the contract price does not exceed $850,000 (inclusive of GST) and construction had not commenced prior to 4 June 2020.

In all cases, construction cannot have commenced before 4 June 2020. Construction must be undertaken by a registered or licensed building service 'contractor' who is named as a builder on the building licence or permit. Whether the contract is with a licensed or registered builder or developer, they must have held their licence before 29 November 2020. In all cases, a valid copy of the builder's licence or registration needs to be provided to the applicant showing that it was held before 29 November 2020. A copy of the builder's licence or registration will need to be provided as part of your supporting documents for the HomeBuilder Grant. To satisfy the requirements of HomeBuilder, a builder would generally need to hold a domestic builder (unlimited) licence issued by the Victorian Building Authority, as this is usually required for a builder to enter into a comprehensive home building contract. However, a domestic builder (limited) licence may be acceptable for certain substantial renovations. This will be considered on a case by case basis and may depend on the renovation contract and type of limited licence held by the builder when they entered into the contract. The builder holding the limited licence would also need to be named as the builder on the building permit issued for the renovation.

Owner-builders are not eligible for HomeBuilder. An owner-builder means the person who is the registered or licensed builder and who takes legal responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land/property. Owner-builders therefore do not enter into an eligible contract under HomeBuilder.

For contracts to purchase an off-the-plan home/new home, construction can have commenced before the date of the sales contract, but not before 4 June 2020. You must also be registered on the certificate of title as the owner of the property by no later than 30 April 2023.

In negotiating the contract, the parties must deal with each other at arm’s length. This means the contract must be made by two parties freely and independently of each other and without some special relationship, such as being a relative. The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable, and the contract price should not be inflated or deflated compared to the fair market price.

If you have entered into a contract on or after 4 June 2020 that replaces a contract made before 4 June 2020 to build the same or a substantially similar home, you may not be eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant.

It is a requirement of the HomeBuilder Grant that construction must commence within 6 months of the contract date.

When construction is considered to have commenced will depend on the type of contract:

  • For new builds, commencement of construction means the commencement of excavation and site preparation works.

  • For a substantial renovation, commencement of construction is when the works under the renovation contract commence.

  • For an off-the-plan build, commencement of construction means the commencement of excavation and site preparation works.

Eligible substantial renovations

For the purposes of HomeBuilder, substantial renovations can be either:

  • substantially altering the existing dwelling, or

  • demolishing your home and building a new home on the land,

  • Note: For a demolition and rebuild to be treated under the substantial renovation category, both the demolition and rebuild must occur on or after 4 June 2020. If the demolition occurred before 4 June 2020 (i.e. the property was vacant land as at that date), a contract to build will be treated under the comprehensive home building contract category.


To be considered substantial, the renovation does not need to involve the removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases. However, it should improve the accessibility, safety or liveability of the property.

Given these requirements, 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.

  • Renovations that are primarily cosmetic in purpose such as landscaping, painting or re-carpeting.

Determining the value of your property

The supporting documents that you are required to provide as evidence of the value of your property will depend on the type of eligible HomeBuilder contract that you have entered into. Such documents may include a recent contract of sale for the property, a copy of your most recent rate notice that identifies the capital improved value, or a bank or independent valuation. The supporting documents table below provides more information on which documents are required to be provided for the various HomeBuilder contract types.

Where the land or property subject of the HomeBuilder application is a farming property, the Commonwealth is supportive of the states and territories adopting a practical approach that only takes into account the value of the house/dwelling that is situated on the farming property. Accordingly, for owners of genuine farm land who reside on their land, where the valuation of their entire property (house and land) would likely exceed the relevant HomeBuilder property value cap, they can provide the following alternative documents as part of their application:

  • an independent valuation of the house/dwelling only on the basis of its replacement cost/value and the rate notice for the land, or

  • relevant insurance documents showing the insured replacement value of the dwelling and the rate notice for the land.

If you want your property valued on the above basis, you should provide a brief covering letter as part of your supporting documents that confirms your property is a genuine farming property. Such matters will be considered on a case by case basis and we may request additional documents from an applicant in order to determine whether the farming property meets the relevant HomeBuilder property value cap.

Bushfire affected properties

If your home was destroyed in the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires, and you are rebuilding on your existing land, your application will be considered as a substantial renovation.

In addition to reading these guidelines, you can use our decision tool, which provides general guidance, to help you determine your eligibility for the HomeBuilder Grant.

HomeBuilder payment

HomeBuilder will be paid once the State Revenue Office Victoria is satisfied that you meet all of the eligibility criteria. The timing of the payment of the Grant will depend on whether your application relates to:

  • A new build – the Grant will be paid after foundations have been laid and the first progress payment has been made to the builder.

  • A substantial renovation – the Grant will be paid after construction has commenced and evidence is submitted showing payments of at least $150,000 of the contract price have been made to the builder.

  • An off-the-plan home/new home contract – the Grant will be paid after evidence is submitted showing that the property has been registered in your name on the certificate of title. You must be registered on the certificate of title as the owner of the property by no later than 30 April 2023.

Homebuilder will be paid into your nominated account when all eligibility criteria have been met and all supporting documentation provided. This account must be an Australian account (e.g. a savings account, a loan account or cheque account).

Residency requirement

To qualify for HomeBuilder, each applicant must:

  • Retain ownership of the property and occupy it as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six (6) months.

  • Commence the above period of occupation immediately upon completion of construction, renovation or settlement.

A principal place of residence is considered to be the home you primarily reside in.

Where an applicant was a member of the permanent forces of the Australian Defence Force and the applicant was enrolled on the Victorian electoral roll at the date of the eligible HomeBuilder contract, the applicant is exempt from the residence requirement.

To receive the exemption, you must provide a document issued by the Australian Defence Force clearly showing your name and that you are a member of the permanent forces at the date of the eligible HomeBuilder contract.

What should I do if I cannot meet the above residency requirements?

You must notify the State Revenue Office Victoria and repay the HomeBuilder Grant within 14 days of the date you become aware you cannot meet the residency requirement.

The State Revenue Office may require that applicants provide information to verify that they have met the residence requirement.

Applicants should keep appropriate records to demonstrate that the grant address was used as the principal place of residence.

If you are having difficulties in meeting the residency requirement, please contact us to discuss your situation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO THE STATE REVENUE OFFICE WEBSITE BY CLICKING HERE OR CONTACT OUR OFFICE.

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