Keystart was established in 1989 to provide home loans to West Australians finding it difficult to obtain home loans from other lending institutions. Those stuck in the rent cycle who never thought they would be able to buy a home – whether a first home buyer or not – are able to take advantage of an opportunity available through Keystart.
Keystart has helped more than 80,000 West Australians into affordable home ownership – that’s 80,000 people who never thought they would own a home. We expect to assist many more thousands of West Australians.
How is Keystart different to other home lending institutions ?
- A low deposit scheme. Deposit required in the metropolitan area is 2% of the property purchase price depending on the loan, and up to 10% in regional WA. The first home owner grant can be used towards the deposit also. This means that you can borrow up to 98% of the value of your property in the metropolitan area.
- Shared Ownership. Depending on financial circumstances, Keystart can offer an arrangement where the Department of Housing can co-own the property with you to help you begin your home ownership journey. Specific shared ownership arrangements are available under the Aboriginal Home Ownership Scheme, the Disability Scheme, the GoodStart Scheme (for existing public housing tenants) and for West Australians in general whose financial circumstances would benefit from the arrangement to help break the rent cycle.
- No lenders mortgage insurance (LMI). Home lending institutions typically require clients to purchase LMI, which can be quite costly. Keystart does not charge LMI at all.
- No ongoing monthly account keeping fees.
- Safety net. A comprehensive safety net arrangement is in place for borrowers who experience difficulties.
- Customer relationship management. Keystart has a dedicated team to assist clients understand the responsibilities associated with home ownership to enable success with loan maintenance plans and contractual obligations. Due to the dedicated care and clients’ dedication to their own success, the majority of Keystart’s clients are in advance of their repayments by one month.
- Education program. Keystart will offer its education program to those who do not qualify for a loan. Many prospective home buyers have high debt levels, too short a time period with their current employer or a number of other factors hindering their progress to secure a loan. The education program can help to improve eligibility for a loan, and has been successful since its inception in September 2010.
- Finance for farmers, pastoralists and rural business owners (including employee accommodation for Shires). Farmers, pastoralists and rural business owners with limited finance options can apply for housing loans through Keystart. Loans are also available for renewable energy systems
Addressing the affordability gap
Insights from the 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics helped to confirm that the growing housing affordability gap required further analysis and expertise to address the gap. Products are currently under review as well as identifying the various markets in order to better reach the appropriate people to provide assistance. In the first instance, lending criteria have changed very recently and this change alone has significantly increased the level of home buyers Keystart can assist.
With careful analysis completed, a State-wide education program is expected to reach out to more of the community to provide assistance.
Keystart is an incorporated company, with the only shareholder being the State government. We do not compete with other lending institutions; our objective is to help West Australians to be successful with their home ownership dream. Prospective clients engage with Keystart if they cannot obtain finance elsewhere.
Keystart’s products are solely home loans and differ to products offered by other lending institutions.
Interest rate policy
Keystart's policy is to calculate interest rates based on the average of the four major banks' standard variable interest rate (NAB, CBA, Westpac and ANZ). If the major banks alter their interest rates, Keystart will review its own rate accordingly and changes communicated to clients. Read more about the interest rate policy.