By Tracey Rundle, Partner, Don Battams, Partner and
Angie Coleman, Associate
The 2011-12 Queensland budget includes a $10,000 grant for a
person or corporation buying or building a new home in Queensland
where the value of that home is less than $600,000. The grant is
for a limited time only (from 1 August 2011 and ending 31 January
Here, Partner Tracey Rundle and Associate Angie Coleman look at
who can apply for the grant and the criteria that must be met for
individuals and corporations to take advantage of the grant.
While the government has released a frequently asked questions
fact sheet on their website for the Office of State Revenue to
provide guidance as to how the grant will operate, the underlying
legislation containing the grant has not yet been released. Once
that occurs we will know the finer details of the eligibility
criteria for the grant.
Whilst the government's intentions are to assist in the
recovery of the housing section, unfortunately the short-term
effect may be that entry into contracts for the purchase of
qualifying homes will be delayed until at least 1 August 2011
(slowing down already slowed sales) until potential purchasers are
certain as to whether they will be entitled to the grant.
Who can apply?
is over 18 years old or is a corporation or trustee;
enters into a contract for the purchase of a 'new home'
between 1 August 2011 and 31 January 2012 (with a price less than
will occupy the new home as a place of residence (and will
extend to others, ie tenants, occupying the home as a place of
The building work for the new home must be completed by:
31 July 2013 - for an off-the-plan purchase;
18 months from the works commencing - if the contract relates
to a comprehensive home building contract (on the basis that
building work commences within 26 weeks of the date of the
18 months from the works commencing - for building work done by
an owner builder.
We assume the requirement to enter into a contract does not
relate to owner builder works - a detail which will be
What is a 'new home'?
A new home is one that has not been previously occupied or sold
as a place of residence or is substantially renovated.
A new home will include a unit purchased pursuant to an
off-the-plan sale contract (as long as the unit will be used as a
home and the building work is completed by 31 July 2013).
For an off-the-plan sale, we assume an applicant must apply for
the grant before 31 January 2012, however, we are unsure as to how
or when the government will pay the grant (given that building work
may not be completed until July 2013, after the closing date for
the grant, and the home will not be occupied as a home until
settlement has occurred and tenant located or the buyer moves
Is there a way to avoid buyers delaying signing a contract
until 1 August 2011?
Unfortunately, if a buyer is aware of the grant and they
reasonably believe that they will be entitled to the grant, there
is little that can be done by a seller to prevent a buyer delaying
signing the contract until 1 August 2011.
The government has indicated that if a contract is entered into
before 1 August 2011 and is subsequently rescinded and a
replacement contract is entered into to purchase that home after 1
August 2011, the buyer under the replacement contract will not be
eligible for the grant. The government has also indicated that
where an option to purchase a home has been entered into before 1
August 2011 but the contract under that option is formed after 1
August 2011, the buyer under that contract will not be eligible for
This means that replacement contracts and option agreements are
not the answer to having buyers sign contracts now in order for the
grant to be available post 1 August 2011. The government, in
preparing the frequently asked questions fact sheet, have been
focused on ensuring only contracts entered into during the defined
period are eligible, which leaves developers in a difficult
position in securing contracts in the lead up to August 2011.
We will issue a further Alert once the relevant legislation is
introduced into parliament. In the meantime, if you have any
queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact
HopgoodGanim's Property Team.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).