The value of loans issued by government lender HomeStart surpassed $800 million for the first time ever for the 2022-23 financial year.

More than 2000 South Australians purchased a home financed through HomeStart over the past 12 months, a 33% increase on the average for the past decade and the highest number of loans since 2010.

More than $220 million of this was in construction lending, second only to 2021 when the HomeBuilder Grant spiked activity.

The lender issued more than 900 Graduate Loans in the 2022/23 financial year, 430 of these took advantage of the new 2% Graduate loan announced last year.

The low upfront deposit can wipe years off the time it will take to save for a standard 20 per cent deposit.

Unlike some commercial lenders, HomeStart does not require borrowers take out Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which can add more than $10,000 to the cost of purchasing a home.

The lender is reporting a 50 per cent increase in online applications and 40 per cent increase in call volumes since the State Budget, which included significant relief for first home buyers.

In addition to a new 2 per cent deposit home loan from 1 July 2024 for eligible first home buyers who purchase or build a new property financed through HomeStart, the Malinauskas Government is abolishing stamp duty for first home buyers on new homes valued up to $650,000 - or vacant land up to $400,000 to build a new home.

The stamp duty relief applies to contracts entered into from 12:00am on June 15 and is granted on the date of settlement. The benefit of the relief should start to flow to new home buyers later this month.

Eligible first home buyers can now receive up to almost $30,000 in stamp duty relief as well as a First Home Owner Grant payment of $15,000, bringing total relief from the state government up to almost $45,000.

It’s part of a comprehensive $474.7 million housing package which includes the single largest land release in state history and the first substantial increase to public housing in a generation.

The Malinauskas Government’s housing policies to increase supply and affordability has earned South Australia the top spot on the national HIA Housing Scorecard, released last week.

States and territories were assessed on 13 key residential building indicators, including building approvals and expenditure on renovations. For the second year in a row, SA topped the country.

Quotes attributable to Stephen Mullighan

We want South Australians to have the same opportunities for home ownership as their parents and grandparents.

I’m proud the Malinauskas Government has introduced significant changes to help keep the great Australian dream alive, including low deposit home loans through HomeStart, which are helping thousands of people enter the market.

The suite of measures announced in the budget will help to boost housing supply and take some pressure off the tight rental market.

Quotes attributable to Andrew Mills, HomeStart

“We’re delighted to have helped more than 2,000 South Australians into their own home over the past year.
“The changes made by HomeStart to its lending products including reducing the deposit requirement for our Graduate Loan to 2 per cent have unlocked home ownership for even more South Australians, alongside shared equity which is now used by almost 1 in 4 HomeStart customers.
“Further changes made in the recent State budget are already resulting in increased demand from first home buyers battling higher house prices, interest rates and living costs.
“We’re privileged to be supporting these homebuyers to turn their dreams into reality.”