28/11/2012 - 15:21

Govt broadens Keystart eligibility

28/11/2012 - 15:21

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Govt broadens Keystart eligibility

More Western Australian home buyers will be eligible for state government support, with income limits for the Keystart loan scheme increasing to $90,000 for individuals and $110,000 for couples in the metropolitan area.

The maximum property purchase price for the metropolitan area has been increased to $450,000.

Keystart chief executive John Coles said clients entering the market for the first time could also use the $7000 First Home Owners Grant to help cover their deposit and fees.

“We think that our more generous lending criteria will help middle to low income earners break out of the rent trap and let them start their home ownership journey,” he said.

“The flow on effect though is equally impressive, with a massive injection of funds into the Western Australian economy.”

Income and purchase limits are higher in most regional areas of Western Australia. In the chronically undersupplied and expensive Pilbara region, Keystart income limits have increased to $150,000 for singles and $180,000 for couples and the maximum property price has increased to $850,000.

Housing Minister Terry Redman said affordability had become a significant problem in the local property market.

“The most recent Census data reveals just how big the housing affordability gap has become,” he said.

“There are 89,000 West Australians earning between $70,000 and $150,000 who don’t own a home and are either renting or living with their parents.”

Industry groups are predicting the WA housing sector will bounce back in 2012-13 following a period of sustained weakness in investor activity and dwelling starts.

Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Debra Goostrey yesterday said residential land sales in the Perth and Mandurah area had increased by 14 per cent for the September quarter, driven by an increasingly tight rental market and low mortgage rates.

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