Labor's "Help to buy" home loan scheme

Labor's centrepiece cost-of-living policy announced during the election was its Help to Buy scheme, which aimed to slash the cost of buying a new dwelling by 40 per cent and an existing one by 30 per cent.

Up to 10,000 applicants could get smaller deposits, smaller mortgages and smaller repayments.

Low-income borrowers may still find it hard to qualify for a mortgage when relying on a 2 per cent deposit, especially given that other schemes have not been successful.

Home loan qualification

The federal government concedes that saving a 2 per cent deposit won't be nearly enough for most low- to middle-income borrowers to qualify for finance to buy a home.

This is particularly so given that the mortgage might still be over $600,000 even after the government’s contribution , depending on where the home is located.”

That said, the barrier to entry for battlers may not be permanent.

NHFIC’s existing first-home loan scheme, requiring applicants to put down 5 per cent has a 90 percent success rate.

It’s not much for the desperate battler looking to buy a home, but it might provide some hope for someone in need of a loan to purchase an $800,000 home with only $16,000 instead of $40,000 deposit.

First-home buyers who don’t have government help and a 20 per cent deposit will need to pay lenders mortgage insurance.

Home loan experts

It would be essential for first home buyers to consult experts where and what to buy, especially given they will eventually need to pay back the government's equity stake, including capital growth.

It is even more important when, fundamentally, they will have to give up a significant percentage of the home equity and any value gain if they choose to sell down the track. In fact, this may prevent them from upgrading at all.

A survey of 1000 Australians found 41 per cent want the new federal government to address housing affordability, as many as those wanting an improved healthcare system, and even more than those seeking action on climate change.