Daniel Hurst | Brisbane Times | January 13, 2012
Queenslanders building or buying new homes will have access to the state government’s $10,000 building boost for an extra three months, amid slower-than-expected uptake.
The grant offer, which began nearly six months ago, was due to expire at the end of this month.
But Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser said the grant would continue until the end of April, following requests from the housing industry and an increase in applications in recent weeks.
The decision comes as Mr Fraser prepares to unveil his Queensland budget update today, amid growing speculation of an imminent election.
Mr Fraser said the original $140 million budget allocation earmarked for the building boost would cater for the time extension, with just 3700 people having applied for the grant so far.
The one-off grant is open to home purchasers buying or building a new home worth less than $600,000.
Mr Fraser’s office last night released figures showing uptake was sluggish in the first few months of the grant but had increased in recent times.
“Industry has come to me asking for an extension to the boost and that’s what we’ll provide,” Mr Fraser said in a statement.
“They’ve said to me, and the recent application numbers show, that the boost is increasingly gaining traction with potential buyers.”
Mr Fraser said the April 30 end date would give developers and builders extra time to market the boost and give the housing industry the kick-start it needed.
“Every housing stimulus package always has a large increase in interest at the back end of the time period, with many applications coming in after the end date.”
The Liberal National Party opposition has previously labelled the measure as a fizzer, saying with a month to the cut-off date applications had been received for just 22 per cent of the program’s $140 million funding.
But Mr Fraser said the building boost was having an effect.
“The (Housing Industry Association) Home Sales report shows that Queensland is the only state that has increased the number of new home sales each month from August to November, the most recent month data has been collated for,” he said.