- Scheme supported 1,700 jobs; generated $670 million in economic activity in 2017-18
- First home owners make up 85 per cent of Keystart applicants in 2018-19
- Keystart has helped more than 102,000 people into their own homes since 1989
Official figures show the State Government’s blue ribbon Keystart scheme, which dramatically reduces barriers to home ownership for lower income earners, approved 1,152 loans worth almost $400 million in the six months to December 2018.
The figures also reveal that 85 per cent of those applying for Keystart loans in the current financial year were first home owners.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Keystart has approved more than 66,700 loans since it was established as a Labor Government initiative in 1989 and along the way has helped more than 102,000 Western Australians into a home of their own.
In 2017-18, Keystart approved 2,789 loans of which 2,169 were for new builds or newly constructed homes. The associated building activity stimulated WA’s economy by supporting an estimated 1,700 jobs and generating up to $670 million in economic activity.
Access to Keystart is not limited to people on a low income and first home buyers. Eligible singles living in the metropolitan area can earn up to $90,000 a year, couples $115,000 and families up to $135,000.
The earning limits are even higher in regional WA and maximum property purchase price limits range from $480,000 to $650,000.
In December 2018, the McGowan Government boosted the value of Keystart’s loan book to $4.8 billion by extending its lending capacity by almost $421 million – equating to an extra 1,100 home loans.
As stated by Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
“Keystart is the most successful scheme of its kind in Australia. It allows people to stop renting and take that important step towards home ownership.
“At a time when the housing construction sector is flat and banks are tightening their lending criteria – partly as a result of the Royal Commission – Keystart has a crucial role in creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
“Property is currently the most affordable it has been in six years, making WA the cheapest in the nation to buy property.
“Unlike most major lenders, Keystart reduces the barriers to get a home loan, with deposits starting from as low as two per cent and no requirement for Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance. This can save clients between $8,000 and $10,000.”