Cri­te­ria change boosts Keystart in­ter­est

The West Australian - - PROPERTY - KIM MACDON­ALD

In a pos­i­tive sign for the real es­tate mar­ket, in­quiries to Keystart rose 50 per cent last month on the back of ex­panded el­i­gi­bil­ity.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Gra­ham said the de­posit — usu­ally 20 per cent of the loan amount — was a big bar­rier for firsthome­buy­ers.

“The av­er­age price of a home is $500,000 and not many peo­ple have $100,000 sit­ting in their bank ac­count,” he said.

“Through Keystart, bor­row­ers can save up to 15 years in sav­ing that de­posit,” he said.

“If you are in your mid 20s, it’s daunt­ing to think you’re go­ing to be in your mid to late 40s be­fore you’ve saved the de­posit.”

The State Gov­ern­ment re­cently an­nounced ex­panded el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria for six months, lift­ing the in­come thresh­old $15,000 for sin­gles and cou­ples and $20,000 for fam­i­lies.

“If more peo­ple have a Keystart cheque in their back pocket, we hope this will be trans­lated into build­ing ac­tiv­ity and jobs,” he said.

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