- New temporary changes to Keystart eligibility start today to help stimulate the economy
- New rules will allow more Western Australians to access Keystart to buy or build a new home
- State Budget announcement has already resulted in a 75 per cent jump in online and direct enquiries to Keystart
- Temporary changes will boost housing construction sector and create local jobs
- Keystart has helped more than 102,000 Western Australians achieve home ownership
The McGowan Government's targeted housing stimulus commenced today, allowing more Western Australians to access Keystart home loans to boost our economy and create jobs.
The changes are already generating significant interest among potential homebuyers, with new figures revealing a surge in enquiries since they were announced as part of the May State Budget.
The latest Keystart figures show a 75 per cent surge in online and direct enquires to the agency, and 80 applications subsequently lodged by those who had previously exceeded the old income limits and were thus ineligible for loans.
Under the measures announced in the Budget, Keystart's existing income limits for borrowers have increased by $15,000 for singles and couples and by $20,000 for families until December 31, 2019. The income limits will revert to previous levels on January 1, 2020.
Around half of these 80 applicants are first homebuyers and may also be eligible for the first home owner grant (FHOG) given their indication of wanting to buy or build a brand new home.
Office of State Revenue data shows that new dwelling applications for FHOG increased 17 per cent in May.
The temporary changes to Keystart lending rules follow the McGowan Government's $421 million extension of its loan book in December last year, boosting its lending capacity to $4.8 billion.
This extension was in addition to the $500 million approved soon after the McGowan Labor Government took office in March 2017. Based on median loan values, the $421 million extension potentially equates to an extra 1,100 new home loans - a welcome boost for WA's housing construction sector.
Keystart, established in 1989 by WA's then Labor Government, is nationally recognised as the most successful scheme of its kind. It has helped more than 102,000 Western Australians achieve the dream of home ownership.
Homebuyers are encouraged to visit Keystart's website at https://www.keystart.com.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The changes that start today will give more Western Australians the chance to own their own home.
"Our targeted housing stimulus will also deliver a much-needed boost to the State's construction industry, which will create new jobs and support the economy. I'd encourage any eligible Western Australians to consider whether Keystart is right for them.
"The changes to the Keystart eligibility criteria are already encouraging additional demand for new homes and will help drive new building activity and stimulate the State's economy.
"This is a welcome result of our recent policy change and reflects the State Government's aim to help as many Western Australians as possible achieve the dream of home ownership."
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"While the banks' lending restrictions is a national issue, it is important that we as a State Government do what we can here in WA.
"I'm pleased to see some encouraging signs following the Government's decisive action.
"The Government will continue to monitor the housing market and broader economy, and provide timely and strategic responses where necessary."
Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
"Since it was established in 1989, Keystart has offered pathways to home ownership for low-to-moderate income earners who could not be serviced by conventional lenders and would likely remain in rental accommodation for the rest of their lives.
"The broadening of eligibility for Keystart finance will make home ownership accessible for many people who thought it would be unachievable."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Housing Minister's office - 6552 5300