Lanie Conquest says the scheme as it is understood now may change between now and when it is due to start early next year.

Buyers await details on First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

June 6, 2019 BY

Since the 11th hour announcement by the Liberal Government about its First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, there’s been very little commentary provided by either the government, lenders or even providers of Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

And that’s because it caught everyone unawares, including the Labor opposition, who quickly shouted “me too!” for fear of losing this voter group. No-one saw it coming, which begs the question about how much detailed consideration was given, and what may change between now and the proposed start date of January 1, 2020.

What we know
The scheme will be operated by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) who are an established Commonwealth entity currently providing loans, investments and grants to encourage affordable housing.

To qualify, individuals need to have earned less than $125,000 (or $200,000 combined income for a couple who are both first home buyers) based on the 2018-19 tax year.

The scheme targets and supports those First Home Buyers who have saved at least 5 per cent as a deposit but would generally be hit with Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) on the portion up to 20 per cent of the property value.

The scheme will operate alongside of, and in no way replace, existing First Home Buyer Schemes including the Stamp Duty Concession and the Regional First Home Owners Grant of $20,000 for new dwellings on the Surf Coast.

What’s less clear
The offer is that eligible borrowers would escape the costs of Lenders Mortgage Insurance, as the government would step in as the guarantor. Despite government and media estimates of $10,000 in savings, the calculated figure would be much higher – unless there’s devil in the detail to be found.

For example, a First Home Buyer purchasing a $600,000 home could in theory borrow a base amount of $570,000 (95 per cent) and would need to contribute $32,000 or 5.3 per cent to cover some incidental costs. For a build in the Surf Coast area, the $20,000 First Home Owners Grant could prop up a $12,000 deposit. However, in both scenarios, the Lenders Mortgage
Insurance that is being promised to be waived would have been more than $26,000.

The other clue to missing detail is the government wording that suggests they will “be able to support up to 10,000 First Home Buyers each year”. Given statistics show there were more than 110,000 First Home Buyers in 2018, there would need to be additional criteria to control the demand.

The wrap-up
There’s been plenty of negative press on this, mainly around the potential impact on housing prices, and the risks in assisting low deposit borrowers.

However, the prospect of saving these borrowers such a significant starting amount, in such a tightened credit environment where strict lender criteria still needs to be met, could be just the leg up some would-be buyers and the market needs.

For more tips and advice, contact Lanie Conquest at Surf Coast Finance. With more than 25 years’ banking and financial services experience, she helps local families and businesses make smart financing decisions. Phone 0418 938 646, email lanie@surfcoastfinance.com.au or head to https://www.surfcoastfinance.com.au/.