What you need to know about the Help to Buy scheme
Labor made a pre-election promise they would implement the Help to Buy scheme – an initiative allowing Australian homebuyer hopefuls to enter the property market with a tiny deposit of just 2%.
The scheme, as Anthony Albanese promised, has the ability to cut the cost of a mortgage by up to $380,000 for Australians who are eligible. And with homebuyers making an equity contribution of up to 40% of the purchase price of a new property or 30% of the purchase price for an existing home, the 2% deposit seems like a pretty great deal that will allow buyers to purchase a property sooner rather than later.
Who is eligible for the Help to Buy scheme?
The scheme is actually really exciting, because Help to Buy is open to all Australians – regardless of whether you’re a first homebuyer or a homeowner who’s looking to upgrade.
There is of course an income cap for potential applicants. Individuals must earn $90,000 or less per year, and couples need to ensure their joint income falls below the $120,000 mark.
You also mustn’t currently have a stake in a property – whether that’s living in a home you own or an investment property. If you have owned a home in the past, but do not currently own a property, you can apply.
What is the home loan price cap in my region?
As property prices can be starkly different depending on the state, city or region, the Labor Government has distinguished price caps based on the buyer’s region of interest. Take a look at the table below to see where the price is capped in the area you’re looking to purchase in!
NSW (capital and regional centres)
NSW (rest of state)
Victoria (capital city and regional centres)
Victoria (rest of state)
Queensland (capital city and regional centres)
Queensland (rest of state)
Western Australia (capital city)
Western Australia (rest of state)
South Australia (capital city)
South Australia (rest of state)
Tasmania (capital city)
Tasmania (rest of state)
Australian Capital Territory
Will Help to Buy meet Australian homebuyers’ needs?
The 30-40% government contributions alongside a 2% deposit means homebuyers are granted easier access to home ownership by avoiding that huge hurdle of having to save for an enormous deposit. The lower deposit and overall smaller loans also means smaller repayments – which is definitely a bonus considering interest rates are on the rise.
So who could benefit most from such a seemingly fabulous scheme? I’m thinking renters. As one of the eligibility points states that an applicant must not currently own a home or investment property, it is likely our growing Aussie renters population will be keen to secure their place in the Help to Buy scheme.
With approximately 2 million households currently renting, and 70% of Aussie renters meeting the tax bracket requirements, you can imagine the 10,000 places the scheme offers will fill up fast.
What’s the catch?
No matter how great home buying schemes appear to be, there are always necessary requirements to be met – and that’s why it’s important to read the fine print before getting your hopes up.
While there appears to be sufficient ‘stock’ available for scheme users (meaning supply and demand will mostly work hand-in-hand, allowing applicants to find a home for a good price in the area they want), experts worry that the financial threshold may be a setback.
One concern is that while the individual and couples income cap is relatively low, those with lower incomes may not be able to service a mortgage in the long-term, despite meeting the schemes eligibility requirements. But that’s where Kitty & Miles can help.
We work with the best brokers and financial experts who can suss out your serviceability and discuss your potential future repayment schedule so you have an idea of where you stand financially.
And of course, as your friendly and dedicated property buyer, I will help you to find and buy the property you and yours will love upon first sight. Let’s do this!