By Phil Ringuet
Almost 33,000 Australians bought their first home four years sooner thanks to two federal government schemes that give first home buyers a leg up into the property market. Could you, or someone you know, be eligible?
We love a feel-good news story around here.
And hearing that so many first home buyers got a leg up into the property market much sooner than they ever dreamed makes us feel pretty warm and fuzzy.
This week the federal government released figures on the popular First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) and New Home Guarantee (NHG) initiatives.
The data showed that the two initiatives supported 1-in-10 first-time homeowners during the 2020-21 financial year. And on average, the schemes allowed those first home buyers to bring forward their home purchases by four (FHLDS) to 4.5 years (NHG).
Hold up, what are these first home buyer schemes?
The FHLDS allows eligible first home buyers with only a 5% deposit (rather than the typical 20% deposit) to purchase a property without forking out for lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).
This is because the federal government guarantees (to a participating lender) up to 15% of the value of the property purchased.
Not paying LMI can save buyers anywhere between $4,000 and $35,000, depending on the property price and deposit amount.
The NHG scheme is very similar but is only for new builds – such as house and land purchases or a land purchase with a contract to build.
Another key difference is that the NHG property price caps are higher (see here) to account for the extra expenses associated with building a new home.
So who’s using the schemes?
Mostly younger buyers!
According to the latest stats, 58% of all buyers under the schemes are aged under 30-years-old.
NSW (11,000 residents) and Queensland (9,000 residents) make up nearly two-thirds of the scheme’s recipients.
And it turns out that most first home buyers who secured a spot in one of the schemes used a mortgage broker (56%).
But for the NHG scheme specifically, brokers originated the vast majority of government guarantees (72%).
How to secure a spot:
We’ve got good news. And a bit of not-so-good news.
The good news is that for the NHG, only 2,443 of the 10,000 spots had been secured as of October 6 – so there’s still the opportunity for eager first home buyers wanting a new build.
The not-so-good news is that spots in the FHLDS are almost full for the latest round released on July 1.
Figures show that 7,784 of the 10,000 spots have already been secured, and word is that participating lenders have waiting lists for many of the remaining spots.
That said, if you’re a single parent there’s a third, similar scheme called the Family Home Guarantee (FHG), which allows eligible single parents with dependants to build or purchase a home with a deposit of just 2% without paying LMI.
Only 1,023 of 10,000 spots have been secured in the FHG, for which you don’t need to be a first home buyer.
Last but not least, it’s worth noting that the FHLDS is an annual scheme with new spots expected to be available from July 2022 – and previously the federal government made a surprise announcement to release 10,000 additional spots in January.
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