Keystart way to buy a home
Keystart is set up to give people a chance to buy their home. Image – Canva.
  • A tough rental market and rising property prices create problems for home buyers
  • Often, the barriers to getting a home loan include coming up with a 20%+ deposit
  • Keystart loans can be secured on 2% deposit with no lender's mortgage insurance

Amid the daily screaming headlines of property booms, rising house and rental prices, home buyers may fear the goal of property ownership is even further away.

Over in Western Australia prices are rising slower than in other Australian regions, but are not (yet) back to the last peak in 2014.

In fact, WA looks like good value with the average (median) price only recently ticking up above $500,000, and still some way off its peak of $550,000 seven years ago.

When you consider Sydney house prices are averaging $1.3 million, and Melbourne more than $1M, Perth looks cheap by comparison.

Whether this stays like this, remains to be seen.

Getting you started on home ownership

Right now, there are more than 9,200 properties for sale in Perth – a ‘balanced market’ is considered to have 12,000 to 13,000. There are also only 2,800 properties for rent. So things are tight.

Not only that, the stumbling block for many trying to get onto the property ladder is scraping together a deposit – putting 20% down on a $450,000 home means having $90,000 in cash.

With last year’s new State and Federal government building grants now being wound back, many may feel they have ‘missed out’ on the ongoing property boom.

Not necessarily.


Established in 1989, Keystart is an initiative from the WA Government. They have helped over 118,000 West Australians into their own home. They are not a bank, are not a government agency and are not profit-driven, yet have $5.7 billion in loans under management.

In fact, there is nothing quite like Keystart anywhere else in the country. Crucially, you can get a home loan from them with a 2% deposit, and you won’t have to pay lender’s mortgage insurance either.

For many, this can remove a large impediment to acquiring one’s own property. And that’s the idea.

“Keystart made my dream of being a homeowner a reality. When I really needed help, they were there. My dealings with them were positive but realistic. I would highly recommend to anyone.”

Vincent, Keystart customer

Let’s explode a myth right away – Keystart is not only for younger or low income earners.

In fact, the average age for a Keystart customer is almost 40, and 70% work full-time. The average person with other home lenders is about 8 years younger and only 43% work full-time.

Simply put, Keystart’s aim is to reduce the barriers to getting you in your own home, with less upfront costs.

And, with the WA government extending the increased income limits for another year, more West Australians will be eligible this year.

“I’m absolutely loving my new home and home ownership with thanks to the team at Keystart. Moving has been a big step, but a great one for my future stability emotionally and financially. I would definitely recommend this journey for like-minded people who are driven and focussed to own a home in WA.”

Bronwen, Keystart customer

What’s the catch?

Keystart don’t offer discounted interest rates, so their interest rates are higher than the rates you would normally see advertised by banks, but remember, most people they help would not be able to get a bank loan anyway and would be stuck renting.

Also, by not paying lender’s mortgage insurance, people save thousands of dollars, meaning the total cost for the first few years is typically lower despite the higher interest rate.

After a few years with Keystart – five typically – they are happy to wave farewell to their customers. Mortgages can then be refinanced with other lenders, who may offer lower interest rates. But Keystart gets these customers on the property ladder initially, and are delighted to do so. That’s their job.

“I’d love to stay! The only reason I’m leaving is I am now able to move to a lender with a lower interest rate. I’m so grateful for the opportunity Keystart gave me to purchase my own home and am pleased to think that Keystart will be able to help another family now that I have moved on.”

“Keystart staff have always been polite, thoughtful and really take the time to help. I want to really pass on my thanks to the team. It’s hard to find that level of service elsewhere.”

Stephen, another Keystart customer

Stephen continues to enjoy the home he bought through Keystart.


To know more, contact Keystart on 1300 578 278 or visit their website. With 130 staff in WA, they are keen to see if they can help you.

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