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Queensland builders at capacity as HomeBuilder strains industry

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Queensland homebuyers are being urged to act swiftly or risk missing out on HomeBuilder grants. Photo: Shutterstock

Queensland builders at capacity as HomeBuilder strains industry

Builders in Queensland are having to turn away new customers, with the industry at capacity and the deadline for the federal government’s $25,000 HomeBuilder grants just five weeks away.

Builders in Queensland are having to turn away new customers, with the industry at capacity and the deadline for the federal government’s $25,000 HomeBuilder grants just five weeks away.

As of November 20, Queensland residents had applied for 5,954 HomeBuilder grants - for new builds as well as renovations - the second highest level of applications in the country.

Victoria led the nation with 7,636 grant applications, while 4,350 applications were made in NSW.

Master Builders Queensland deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell said he was concerned prospective buyers would miss out on the grants, with many builders not accepting new contracts because it is unlikely they will be able to start work within three months of the contracts being signed.

“It’s a real possibility if you haven’t signed a contract already, you may be too late, and that leaves the building industry in danger of falling off a cliff once the current crop of homes is finished,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Builders are already being forced to close their books because they can’t guarantee they can start the work on time.

“That’s placing unnecessary stress on the industry and consumers.”

Mr Bidwell said Master Builders was lobbying the Queensland state government and the federal government to follow the lead of Western Australia and extend the construction commencement timeframe to six months to deal with demand. 

“This will ensure that issues like land and trade shortages can be accommodated, without home buyers missing out,” he said.

In addition to an extension, Mr Bidwell urged the federal government to run a second round of HomeBuilder grants in 2021.

“At this stage, the industry has a strong pipeline of work until mid-way through 2021 — but once the HomeBuilder-related contracts wrap up, it’s in danger of grinding to a screeching halt, stopping our industry from leading the post-COVID economic recovery as it is poised to do,” he said.

“With Christmas around the corner and many businesses winding down for the year, our message is clear. If you are a home buyer and want to get the grant – act now.”

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