Keystart’s new borrowing criteria – now is the time to buy!

One of the hottest topics coming into this weekend’s Federal Election is how the government plans to help first time home buyers onto the property ladder. Both parties have put forward their election promises to change the deposit requirement from 20% to 5% on certain eligible loans  in order to help first homebuyer Australians get into homes of their own sooner.

This means up to a 15% government guarantee will go towards the deposit, as long as they can prove they have attained the other 5% of the value of the home. But that’s not all. Keystart has also announced it will be relaxing its eligibility criteria for the Low Deposit Home Loan from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019.

This is fantastic news for first time buyers in Western Australia needing a bit of assistance to achieve their homeownership dreams. To give you a greater understanding of the update and what this could mean for your future, we’ve put together a list of everything you need to know about Keystart.


Keystart FAQs


1. Who are Keystart?

Keystart was formed to assist Western Australians who aren’t readily able to obtain finance through one of the more traditional lenders to buy a home of their own. Under the scheme, a range of home loan products are available to owner-occupiers to buy an established home or build a house.


2. What is the Keystart Low Deposit Home Loan?

One of these home loan products is the Keystart Low Deposit Home Loan. A variable interest rate loan, it was designed to help people into homeownership earlier by lowering upfront costs rather than offering the lowest interest rate on the market (at the time of writing – 5.34%).


3. What are the main benefits?

The key advantages of a low deposit home through Keystart are:

  • Smaller deposit – The deposit required is only 2% of the property purchase price. For first home buyers, the $10,000 First Home Owners Grant can also contribute towards the deposit.
  • No lenders mortgage insurance – LMI is typically required by other lenders if the client falls short of their deposit requirements. Keystart saves you between $8,000 and $10,000 by charging no LMI.
  • Loans to those who have defaults
  • No ongoing monthly account keeping fees
  • Support when you need it


4. Who is eligible?

Keystart’s vision is to make the dream of homeownership a reality for more people. In order to achieve this vision, they must check all applicants carefully and ask them quite a few questions about their work, income, debt and living expenses. But before that, check to see if you meet the basic eligibility criteria. To apply for the Low Deposit Home Loan, you must be:

  • Over the age of 18
  • A permanent resident of Australia
  • Living in WA and wanting to buy or build a home here
  • Planning on living in your home and not renting it out
  • Not a homeowner already and not looking to buy an extra property


5. How do I qualify?

Want to see if you qualify? Use Keystart’s Do I Qualify Tool. The online tool allows you to see if you can apply for a Keystart home loan and how much you may be able to borrow. They’ll also ask you about your income and expenses so you may wish to have that information handy before you begin.


The changes

It’s positive news for first home buyers in Perth. Thanks to the State Government, buyers struggling to get a loan will be given easier access to Keystart. They recently announced they will temporarily increase its income limits amid a clamp down from the major banks on lending in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt said: “We’ve implemented these temporary changes to make Keystart finance available to people who may have been unsuccessful in applying for a home loan with a bank.” The change also follows the government’s $420 million extension of Keystart’s loan book in December last year, boosting its lending capacity to $4.8 billion.

Income thresholds for borrowing from Keystart will be lifted by $15,000 for singles & couples and $20,000 for families. These will see income limits increased to $105,000 for singles, $130,000 for couples and $155,000 for families buying a home values at up to $480,000 in Perth. However, the lower barriers will only be temporary, lasting for 6 months until 31 December this year. It will then revert back to the current limits on 1 January 2020.

But it’s not just buyers reaping the benefits – it’s also builders. The changes to the Keystart eligibility criteria will also help drive new building activity and stimulate the State’s economy. In 2017-18, Keystart approved a total of 2,789 loans, with 2,169 loans for construction or newly constructed home. This will translate into the construction of hundreds of new homes and generating even more jobs.

*Please note: “The increased income limits will be available to all applicants who enter into sales contracts to purchase an established property or build a new home from 1 July 2019 until 31 December 2019. Keystart will accept applications using the higher income limits from 1 May 2019 to give consumers confidence they can begin their search for a home knowing what they may be eligible to borrow. The sales contract must settle after 1 July 2019. The income limits will then revert to the current levels from 1 January 2020.”  – Keystart, May 1, 2019

*Keystart Terms and Conditions, fees and charges and normal lending criteria apply. Rates and limits stated are subject to change without notice.


Building with Perceptions

Now is a great time to build. With Perth’s property market in a soft recovery, building a home now means you’ll be able to reap huge rewards in 12-18 months time when the market will once again be in an upswing. However, the lower barriers are only temporary, so potential home buyers thinking of building should begin the process sooner rather than later.

Perceptions are one of Western Australia’s most trusted single and double storey home builders specialising in high quality custom designs. Since our inception in 1982, we have provided the people of Perth luxury home building experiences coupled with our down-to-earth, customer first philosophy.

With one storey designs from $195,260 and two storey designs from $252,218,we have a team of passionate and experienced Building and Design Consultants who are here to help you at every step on the road to homeownership. Driven to bring your vision to life, they will be there for you from the initial consultation right up until the day you get your keys.


Now is the time to consider moving into your first home. Contact Perceptions or visit one of our display homes in the Perth Metro area, as finance has never been easier than right now.

Your dream home starts here

Speak to one of our Building and Design Consultants now.