THE Queensland Government will extend the $10,000 Queensland Building boost for a further three months.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the Boost was beginning to make headway in the housing industry, with a $10,000 grant available to all home purchasers buying or building a new home worth less than $600,000.
"Industry has come to me asking for an extension to the Boost and that's what we'll provide," Mr Fraser said.
"They've said to me, and the recent application numbers show, that the Boost is increasingly gaining traction with potential buyers.
"Official interest rates have been lowered in recent months, and with the possibility of even more cuts, this $10,000 grant for buying or building a new home means it's never been more attractive to sign on the dotted line and support the state's housing industry.
"A first home owner also gets the $7,000 state funded first home owner's grant and zero stamp duty if the home is worth less than $500,000.
Mr Fraser said the Treasury considered that the initial budget allocation of $140 million would cater for the time extension.
"So far we've seen over 3,700 applications for the Building Boost. There is obviously room within the budget allocation to accommodate the uptake in interest we expect over the next three months.
He also said the Boost had already delivered increased activity in the sector.
"The HIA 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).
"I expect that momentum to swing through December and January and into the next few months as well.
"Building approvals data this week also showed growth for houses.
HIA approves of the extension
AUSTRALIA'S largest building industry association HIA has welcomed Treasurer Andrew Fraser's three months extension to the $10,000 Building Boost.
HIA Queensland Executive Director Warwick Temby said "the extension of the Boost will help the home building industry to gather some momentum and build on the early signs of recovery late last year.
"The Boost had played a part in rekindling interest in building a home. Combined with the lift in affordability from lower interest rates and fierce competition among builders, the Boost has made it a great time for building a new home.
"This timely announcement will help to set the scene for a much needed lift in activity from the thirty year lows the industry experienced in 2011.
"HIA had been concerned that the Christmas and New Year break was making it difficult for builders to finalise contracts to meet the previous end January deadline. The three month extension has removed this problem for the industry.
"HIA is very pleased that the Government has been able to respond to its call for extending the operation of the Boost. The home building industry is a crucial component of the Queensland economy", Mr Temby concluded.