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The federal government announced an extension to the construction commencement requirement for the HomeBuilder program on Saturday, giving existing applicants a total of 18 months to begin work on their homes.The extension will apply to all applicants who signed contracts during the HomeBuilder eligibility period between 4 June 2020 and 31 March 2021.While the deadline for applications has passed, those who have already lodged an application will now have until 30 April 2023 to submit all the necessary documentation to their State or Territory Revenue Office.Introduced in June 2020 to prevent activity in the residential construction sector from drying up, the HomeBuilder scheme has so far attracted more than 121,000 applicants.“The swift introduction of HomeBuilder gave Australians the confidence to build or rebuild a home during a period of great uncertainty,” said Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing, Michael Sukkar.It’s also been a key ingredient in Australia’s property boom, with a 27 per cent increase in detached dwelling commencements over the December quarter, as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics.The initial program required successful applicants to begin construction within six months of the contract date. The additional 12 months will provide a buffer in the event of delays, such as COVID-19 related supply constraints or disruptions due to natural disaster.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the extension will “ensure that existing applicants facing difficulties in starting construction on their new builds and renovations are not denied a HomeBuilder grant due to circumstances outside their control.”In its current form, the HomeBuilder scheme offers $15,000 grants to eligible Australians when purchasing new builds valued at under $950,000 in New South Wales, $850,000 in Victoria, and $750,000 in all other StatesThe grant is also available to subsidise renovations of between $150,000 and $750,000 on existing homes, so long as the value of the property including land does not exceed $1.5 million.For more information on property and lending trends, head over to our home loan statistics page. And if you’re in the market for a home loan, visit our home loan comparison page, or browse the selection below.
There are so many Buy Now Pay Later platforms around these days, it would be surprising if you hadn't heard of at least one. Think Afterpay, Zip, Klarna and Payright. The question is have you come across the 'Bill Now Pay Later' concept?
Ready for that new car smell? Thousands of Aussies are looking to hit the road and in a fresh set of wheels too! Recent stats from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) revealed that new car sales rose by 22.4% in March 2021 from the same time a year prior.A total of 100,005 brand new cars were sold last month compared to 81,690 vehicles in March 2020 when many Aussie entered lockdown. In particular, SUVs saw the greatest growth in sales of 32%, while light commercial vehicles, including vans and utes, also jumped up by 28%.
The British Pound has hit new highs against the US Dollar, as the UK’s leading vaccine efforts have seen more than 16 million of its residents receive the jab so far. In fact, the GBP climbed past US$1.41 today - the first time it’s reached this level since April 2018. According to international money transfer (IMT) specialist TorFX’s managing director, Nigel Fox, the speed and success of each country’s vaccination programs will have “a direct correlation on their respective currencies” this year. He says that’s why “the Pound has enjoyed an extended bullish run, with the currency propelled to multi-month and multi-year highs, on hopes the UK’s accelerated vaccine rollout will pave the way for a swift economic recovery in 2021.” For context, a ‘bullish run’ refers to a sustained rise in currency value. “The Pound is perhaps the best positioned to soar this year as the UK’s vaccine success and the eventual resolution of Brexit paves the way for a strong economic rebound,” Fox says. “In contrast, the EU’s disappointedly slow rollout of its vaccination program looks to stifle the upside potential in the Euro this year.” Interestingly, vaccine hopes and a recovering world economy could trigger even more falls in the US dollar. That’s because these positive sentiments mean investors no longer need to flee to safe currencies like the USD, as they did back in March 2020 when news of the pandemic first broke. “In the wake of unprecedented monetary stimulus from central banks and a rebound in global growth as most economies reopened, we saw a rebalancing of currency markets, with the US Dollar losing its sparkle,” Fox says. “As the world emerges from the pandemic, and with the outlook for 2021 improving, we’re likely to see the recent USD selling bias remain firmly in place.”
From Afterpay to Zip, Klarna and every Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) company in between, it seems Aussie shoppers can't get enough of splitting up purchases. In fact, Mozo research has found that 5.8 million Australians have at least one Buy Now Pay Later account. But ever since BNPL hit Aussie shores, there's one question that still remains for almost all BNPL users: will it affect my credit score? One of the biggest reasons BNPL services have surged in popularity over the past few years is that it promises interest-free shopping with little to no fees.So why would the average Aussie be worried about this service affecting their credit score if no interest is involved? Well, like most personal financial products, it's all in the details. To give you the inside scoop as to whether signing up to a Buy Now Pay Later platform could impact your credit health, we've compiled this handy guide to help you.
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