Funding

Rorting investor’s $750,000 property plunge using 149 government grants under NSW new home scheme

SmartCompany /

The New South Wales New Home Grant Scheme was introduced in July 2012 to stimulate the construction of new homes and some 16,474 New Home Scheme grants of $5,000 were paid in its first full year totalling $82 million.

But there was no restriction on its take-up, unlike the schemes that it replaced.

So one mystery Australian investor – or investment company – secured 149 grants totalling $745,000 to assist in their 149 new homes purchases. The total outlay of the investor is not known.

The scheme provided a grant of $5,000 towards the purchase of new homes, homes off the plan and vacant land on which a new home will be built.

Another applicant received 83 of the grants. One local got 56 grants, another 39, another 38 with one buyer receiving 36 and another 31.

Some 21 buyers got six grants, 72 got four, 199 investors got three grants while 1,181 received two. 

All up there were 1,553 multiple local recipients in the first two years, the Daily Telegraph‘s state political reporter, Andrew Clennell reported.

But despite the fears there were just the 31 overseas multiple recipients, budget documents provided to the upper house revealed.

One overseas investors received six grants, another received five and 21 overseas buyers received two grants.

The investors who seized the opportunity to grab more than one grant secured some $25 million over the past two years.

Changes to the New Home Grant Scheme were announced in the 2014 state budget when Treasurer Andrew Constance stopped overseas buyers accessing the scheme and also put a stop to buyers being able to get multiple grants.

For purchasers to be eligible to receive the grant, the value of the new home must not exceed $650,000 and the value of vacant land must not exceed $450,000. 

The grant is not be available for the purchase of an existing home to knock down and build a new home on the land.

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