- Property price cap in Pilbara and Kimberley to rise from $500,000 to $650,000 for Keystart borrowers
- Deposit requirement dropped to seven per cent - significantly lower than other major lenders in the North-West
A major increase in the amount that Keystart can lend to eligible homebuyers and a decrease in the deposit required will help more Pilbara and Kimberley homebuyers get off the rental roundabout and make the Pilbara home.
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls announced the lending criteria changes today and said the recent normalising of the property market in the North-West would help homebuyers.
"The timing of these lending criteria changes by Keystart could not be better with property prices in Port Hedland, Broome, Karratha and Kununurra at their most affordable level in over a decade," Mr Grylls said.
"In this normalised market, the door is now open for owner-occupiers and Keystart is here to help. Rather than being driven by investors, we will see families and singles who want to live and work in the region but were priced out of the market during the mining boom, now able to afford to buy their own home. There could also be an increasing number of FIFO workers choosing to relocate their families to the region because it is now a very affordable option."
Treasurer Mike Nahan said Keystart's lending criteria was tightened in the 2014-15 Budget to assist with the State's debt management but following the recent sale of $1.35 billion worth of Keystart's loans to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the company has been able to broaden its lending criteria to ensure that more West Australians were able to enjoy the benefits of home ownership.
Under the changes announced by Mr Grylls, the property purchase price cap in the Pilbara and Kimberley will rise from $500,000 to $650,000 and the deposit requirement has dropped to seven per cent - significantly lower than other major lenders in the North-West.
"While there are some signs of confidence in the market, this financial year the number of loans approved by Keystart in the North-West is below where we expected it to be," the Minister said.
"We're predicting that the changes announced today will be another shot in the arm for the local economy and for the construction sector."
Mr Grylls said Keystart had helped almost 100,000 West Australians into a home of their own since 1989 and continued to play a key role in the Liberal National Government's Affordable Housing Strategy.
"Since 2010, the State Government has delivered more than 20,000 affordable homes and we've now set our sights on achieving 30,000 affordable homes for West Australians on low-to-moderate incomes by 2020," he said.
- For more information about the lending criteria changes and to find out whether you qualify, visit http://www.keystart.com.au or call 1300 578 278
Housing Minister's office - 6552 6100
Treasurer's office - 6552 5700