Bankwest initiative addresses housing affordability for WA first home buyers

media releases

18 August 2011

Bankwest today announced the launch of a WA exclusive 3% deposit home loan offer designed to help first homebuyers and have earmarked up to $500m especially for this initiative.

Applicants who satisfy the bank‟s special offer lending criteria can borrow up to 97% of the value of the property with just a 3% deposit. This initiative is designed to help buyers who are looking to enter the property market into their homes faster and reduce the time needed to save a deposit.

The Bankwest initiative also incorporates two other highly competitive loan products available to first home buyers – a discounted variable rate loan and a fixed rate loan. Similarly, applicants must satisfy the bank‟s stipulated lending criteria to be eligible.

Managing Director Jon Sutton said Bankwest was committed to reducing the barriers for WA first home buyers looking to enter the market, whilst maintaining responsible lending practices.

“Research has shown that Western Australians are still struggling in the current challenging market with their capacity to save a deposit on a home in a reasonable time period,” Mr Sutton said.

“Bankwest is committed to increasing the opportunities for first time buyers who are already looking to get into the market by helping them into their own homes faster.”

The announcement was made at the same time as the launch of Satterley Property Group‟s complementary „Building Blocks Campaign‟, providing a range of affordable house and land packages.

Released this week, Bankwest‟s third annual First Time Buyer Deposit Report shows the average time to save a house deposit in Western Australia is four years, with WA‟s rapid economic growth and increased house prices making it difficult for average buyers to enter the property market and secure an affordable home.

The past year has seen a 37% drop in the number of first time buyers entering the property market in Western Australia. This is coupled with Bankwest‟s Key Worker Housing Affordability Report, released earlier this year in March which found that 87% of Perth‟s local government areas were unaffordable for key public sector workers.

The Bankwest initiative is in line with the State Government‟s Affordable Housing Strategy, announced by Minister for Housing Troy Buswell in May this year.

Mr Sutton commended the Minister‟s Strategy, which encourages partnerships with private developers and non-government organisations to address the significant barriers to home ownership.

“We agree with the Government that there is a need for private support to ensure availability of quality affordable housing as well as to assist those on lower incomes,” said Mr Sutton.

“Public private partnerships are key to releasing the pressure on Western Australians trying to buy their own homes. This initiative is designed to help first home buyers who have made the decision to enter the property market.”

-ENDS-

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