The State Government’s Keystart home loan scheme has recorded a four-year high, with 341 loans approved for the month of April.
Housing and Works Minister Michelle Roberts said this latest figure was very positive compared with109 loan approvals in April 2007.
“This is a great indication of homebuyer confidence returning to the market, particularly among low and moderate income earners, and first home buyers,” Mrs Roberts said.
The Minister said the approved loans for this April amounted to $73.5million, up from $25.2million in April last year.
“About 30 per cent of these loans, or 103, were approved as First Start loans,” she said.
First Start is a shared-equity scheme, which enables first homebuyers to purchase or construct a home valued up to $375,000 in conjunction with the State Government through Keystart.
“In the 2008-09 financial year, it is projected that the State Government will be on track to approve 3,000 Keystart loans totalling about $600million,” Mrs Roberts said.
The Minister said since First Start commenced in February 2007, 760 loans had been approved and 628 were referred for finance.
“The number of first homebuyers assisted by Keystart has also increased, from 63 per cent in April 2007, to 82 per cent in April 2008,” she said.
Mrs Roberts said that one of the factors contributing to the increase in new lending figures was that Keystart had not increased interest rates above those set by the Reserve Bank.
“There is also strong evidence the building industry will continue to surge, as the amount approved for construction has increased from $2.1million in April 2007 to $16.1million in April 2008,” she said.
The Minister said the State Government through the Department of Housing and Works was building on the success of the loan scheme by working with developers to deliver housing and land packages under $375,000.
The Keystart Housing Scheme was formed in April 1989 to assist low to moderate income earners into home ownership.
Since its inception, the scheme has helped more than 65,000 Western Australian families and singles into home ownership, whilst injecting more than $6billion into the housing industry.
Minister's office - 9213 6600