First-home buyers in Western Australia who’re struggling to enter the property market have been given a recent boost by the WA government.

Late last December, the WA government announced a temporary $5,000 boost to the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG). Eligible first-home buyers who enter into a contract between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 this year to purchase or construct a new home will receive the boost. Eligible owner-builders who commence laying the foundations of their homes between these dates will also receive the boost.

The grant is now worth $15,000.

Increases to Keystart’s metropolitan income limits   

Meanwhile, the metropolitan income limits for Keystart’s home loans will rise by $20,000, with changes slated to come into effect this year.

Here is a breakdown of the increases:

  • Singles - up to $90,000 (previously $70,000)
  • Couples - up to $115,000 (previously $95,000)
  • Families - up to $135,000 (previously $115,000)

The lending criteria for loans was initially tightened in the 2014-2015 budget to help settle outstanding debt, but the Barnett government says the recent success of selling off segments of Keystart’s $1.35 billion loan book has allowed the lender to diversify its criteria.

Helping more first-home buyers onto the property ladder

According to WA Premier Colin Barnett, these measures are designed not only to help struggling first-home buyers enter the property market, but also to stimulate the housing construction sector and create more jobs.

“We are conscious about housing affordability and this boost will provide more families an opportunity to get into the housing market,” Barnett told Perth Now.

“We are committed to creating and supporting jobs for West Australians, so this carefully targeted measure will not only provide more employment opportunities for every tradie in your neighbourhood, but we expect an extra 650 WA first homebuyers to buy or build a new home.”

As noted by WA Treasurer Mike Nahan, the 12-month boost to the FHOG, coupled with the existing transfer duty assistance provided to first-home buyers, was one of the many measures the Barnett government was introducing to bolster Western Australia’s economy.

First-home buyers who purchase vacant land to build their homes will continue to pay no duty on purchases up to $300,000. They’ll also pay a reduced amount of duty on land up to $400,000.

“Those buying an established home or a newly constructed home also pay no duty for homes up to $430,000, and reduced transfer duty on homes up to $530,000,” Nahan said.