New data from Suncorp Bank reveals homeowners looking to renovate are loaning on average $63,188 to fund their renovation project. 

This is $86,812 less than the minimum $150,000 you need to spend on your home renovation to qualify for the federal government's controversial HomeBuilder package.

To be eligible for the scheme, you must be on an income of less than $200,000 for couples, and $125,000 for singles, and be spending between $150,000 and $750,000 on a renovation for a home that has been previously valued at less than $1.5 million.

The HomeBuilder package has previously come under fire for being a 'handout for the wealthy' with many arguing that most people don't have $150,000 to spend on a renovation.

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LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
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Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

The data revealed the average renovation cost varied by state, with households in Victoria topping the list, investing over $71,000 for their home renovation, followed by New South Wales at $66,609, and Queensland at $60,560.

Average cost of renovation


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Mitch Picklington from Mitcon Build in Brisbane said business has been booming as a result of the HomeBuilder scheme.

“We have been inundated with requests to quote for different jobs around Brisbane at the moment, whether it’s renovating one room in the house or making plans for a larger scale renovation to utilise the government’s Home Builder scheme," Picklington said.

"We’ve seen a surge in people wanting to expand their current living areas with an extension and refresh their outdoor entertainment area by adding a pergola, deck or even swimming pool.”

Aussies pouring money into home renos instead of holidays

Ruined travel plans as a result of COVID-19 have seen many Australians spend money they would have spent on a holiday on home renovation projects instead.

Angie Brown from Randwick, New South Wales said the money she was going to spend on travelling later this year has been put into improving her apartment instead.

“My role working in the retail industry was impacted early on however although restrictions eased in New South Wales and I was able to return to work, our plans to travel interstate and overseas to visit friends and relatives in the later part of 2020 were no longer on the cards,” Ms Brown said.

“We had always planned to renovate, but COVID-19 and spending more time in our apartment than ever before made us reassess our finances, hastening up our renovation plans.

“It’s been nice to stay busy planning our apartment renovation, talking to our bank and having discussions with local suppliers and builders, and it has given us something to look forward to in a pretty crazy year where things haven’t exactly gone to plan.”

How far will a $60k renovation budget stretch?

According to Suncorp's renovation calculator, a $60,000 renovation budget can stretch quite far, depending on where you live and how extensive you want your renovation to be:

  • Kitchens come in as the most expensive room in the house to renovate, with the average cost of a medium sized kitchen with average fittings to set Australians back on average $20,750, however this price can rise as high as $32,700 if premium fittings are used.
  • Bathrooms will set keen renovators back on average $16,250 while renovators using higher quality materials will spend $21,450.
  • Outside, a double carport will set you back $32,450, while a small deck will cost around $4,300.

Suncorp Executive General Manager Consumer Lending Bruce Rush said renovation costs can vary quite a bit depending on a few factors.

“The cost to renovate can vary slightly depending on the location you live in and subsequent cost of trades, as well as the quality of fixtures or materials used,” Rush said.

“Suncorp’s recently launched renovation calculator can help people understand the costs of different types of renovations whether it’s adding a kitchen, carport, garage or repainting the entire interior of your home.”

Rush said while some Australians are making smaller more affordable changes around the time, others are using the money they would have otherwise spent on holidays for more substantial renovations.

“Many customers are keen to improve the look and feel of their home but don’t know where to start,” Rush said.

“The best way to keep a renovation on track and on budget is to do as much research as you can before getting started. Talking to your bank or broker is a good place to start to ensure you get the right finance for your renovation project.”

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