McGowan government earmarks $421m to assist prospective homeowners

By Kay Rivera

Premier Mark McGowan announces the extension of WA’s Keystart loan book

The McGowan government recently announced a $420.9 million extension of the loan book of Western Australia’s (WA) Keystart scheme.

The amount will be added to the $500 million that was initially approved when the McGowan government came to power. Hence, more homeownership opportunities will be available to Western Australians, especially at this time when property prices are declining.

Of the 2,789 loans approved by Keystart in 2017-2018, 2,169 were allocated for construction or newly constructed homes. The building activity drove economic growth by supporting an estimated 1,700 jobs and generating up to $670 million in economic activity.

With the stabilisation of the home market, the McGowan government said it was able to come up with solutions to support the residential construction sector and help more people into homeownership, including boosting Keystart's lending capacity to $4.8 billion.

The extension was estimated to produce an extra 1,100 home loans, and the Housing Industry Association (HIA) viewed the decision positively.

“Increasing Keystart’s funds will help more West Australians buy affordable homes, and delivers much-needed support for the local residential construction industry,” said Cath Hart, executive director of the HIA. “Building and construction employs 10% the Western Australian workforce and yet faces tougher conditions than we have seen in years, so we hope that today’s announcement renews momentum in the WA housing market.”

Hart said that a dollar spent on housing creates $4.85 in extra gross state product. Therefore, a boost to the housing industry also means a gain for the WA economy, she said.

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