National

Govt announces $688m HomeBuilder package

By AAP Newswire

Australians looking to build or renovate in the second half of the year will be able to get $25,000 from the federal government as part of a scheme aiming to keep the construction industry moving.

The $688 million HomeBuilder package is available to owner-occupiers who sign a contract to start building or substantially renovating their property after June 4.

It's open to people earning less than $125,000 a year, or $200,000 per couple, and for new homes valued up to $750,000 including land, or renovations worth between $150,000 and $750,000 that will result in the property being worth under $1.5 million.

The money can't be used on investment properties or to build things outside the house like swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, sheds or garages.

The government anticipates the package will support 140,000 direct construction jobs and a million workers in the wider residential building sector, including architects, material supplies and manufacturers, and engineers.

It will be made available through state governments.

The sector has been warning it faced massive job losses once projects already under way tailed off, with people expected to cancel or delay new home builds amid the economic downturn.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package would deliver a "tradie-led recovery".

"If you've been putting off that renovation or new build, the extra $25,000 we're putting on the table along with record low interest rates means now's the time to get started," he said.