Keystart Home Loans

Now Living Realty work with The Loan Company* and Keystart^ to sell both full and shared ownership homes, delivering 1100 sales over the past four years. Over 600 of these sales have been shared ownership through Keystart.

Keystart was formed to assist those West Australians who are not readily able to obtain finance through one of the more traditional lenders to buy a home of their own. Now Living Realty is proud to work alongside Keystart in assisting West Australians getting into their own home sooner.


What are Keystart Home Loans?


A Keystart home loan is a low deposit, variable interest rate loan that’s provided to eligible first home buyers by the Western Australian Government initiative Keystart. Since 1989, over 100,000 Western Australian customers have taken out Keystart home loans. These loans are available whether you’re building a new home or buying an established home, and may be approved for applicants who have had loan defaults or previously been bankrupt.

The low deposit benefit of Keystart home loans allows eligible first home buyers to enter the property market sooner. Most other lenders require home buyers to have a much higher deposit on a home than Keystart does in order for their loan to be approved.


How much deposit do you need for a Keystart loan?


Keystart home loans only require a deposit of 2%, unlike the 5% or more that’s required by most other lenders. Some lenders require a 20% deposit. To put those deposit percentages into perspective on the current average price of a home in Perth ($500,000):

  • A 2% Keystart loan deposit is just $10,000
  • A 5% deposit is $25,000
  • A 20% deposit is 100,000

As you can see, a Keystart loan will definitely help you to enter the property market sooner.

You can also access the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) of $10,000 through the State Government’s Department of Finance to help you with your Keystart loan deposit, provided you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • you are aged over 18,
  • you (or your partner) must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident,
  • you (and your partner) must not have owned Australian residential property before, and
  • you must intend to live in your new home for at least 6 months within 12 months of the home’s contract settlement date. In other words, you can’t be buying an investment property to rent out to tenants. If you are, you’re not eligible for the FHOG.

There are no income thresholds for the FHOG, but if you’re buying in the Perth metropolitan area, then the value of your new home must be less than $750,000.


What is the Keystart loan interest rate?


Interest rates on Keystart home loans are currently at a record low rate. Lower interest rates mean more affordable repayments.

In addition, it’s important to understand that no lender’s mortgage insurance is required with Keystart home loans and there are no account-keeping fees. Not having to pay either of these costs will help you to save thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan.

For example, lenders’ mortgage insurance costs on the current average price of a Perth home ($500,000) would be $10,000 or more, depending on the lender and how much deposit you could provide. If you take out a Keystart home loan, this insurance money will stay in your pocket instead.


How do I qualify for a Keystart home loan?


To qualify for a Keystart home loan, you must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • you’re over 18 years of age,
  • you’re either an Australian citizen or permanent resident,
  • you intend to build or buy a home in Western Australia,
  • you intend to live in the property that you’re buying for the duration of your loan,
  • you don’t already own a home or land,
  • you have enough funds to cover all associated property purchase and moving costs, and
  • the property purchase value is less than $480,000 in the Perth metropolitan area


Your annual income and property purchase price must also fall within specific limits that are updated regularly. These limits are explained in the section below.


Keystart income limits


The annual income limits for Keystart home loan applicants were increased for the second half of 2019 by $15,000. New limits for the Perth metropolitan area are outlined in the table below. These increased limits will be in place until 30 June 2020.

Type of applicant

Annual Income Limit






Shared ownership Keystart home loan option


A shared ownership home loan is another option offered by Keystart. This is a joint loan with the WA Housing Authority that you can take out to reduce the amount you have to borrow. The WA Housing Authority will fund up to 30% of the value of your home under a shared ownership arrangement.

Shared ownership home loans are designed for lower-to-moderate income earners in Western Australia to help you get into your own home sooner. The Housing Authority co-owns up to a maximum of 30% share of the property with you, acting as a silent partner.

Shared ownership home loans have the same low deposit requirement as standard Keystart home loans (2%) and there is also no lenders mortgage insurance required with them.
However, there are different income limits that apply for the shared ownership loan. You can only earn a maximum of $70,000 as a single or $90,000 as a couple or family to be eligible for a shared ownership home loan through Keystart.


How we can help


At Now Living Realty, we work with Keystart^ and the Loan Company* to sell both full and shared ownership homes.  Contact us today to find out how we can make your first home dream a reality!


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*Harrisdale Pty Ltd trading as The Loan Company. Australian Credit Licence Number 386355

^Keystart Loans Ltd Australian Credit Licence 381437. Now Living Realty provides Keystart with referrals, who is the provider of credit assistance. Now Living Realty does not receive any benefits from this relationship.