03 December, 2013

Westpac assists hard-hit first home buyers

Hard-hit first home buyers will receive preferential low equity approval, a $1,000 first home booster when they take out a home loan, and help from an e-coach through an innovative savings and home loan package introduced by Westpac

HomeSaver launches this week and is aimed at helping first home buyers in a competitive and tough environment. 

With HomeSaver, Westpac is the only major bank to offer a savings and home loan package to provide preferential approval for low equity loans, a $1,000 cash lump sum at drawdown to help with home set up costs plus special interest rates and regular motivational advice along the savings journey.

With new LVR restrictions limiting the number of low equity loans available, Westpac will give preference to HomeSaver customers for low equity loan pre-approvals.

Each year, between 20,000 – 30,000 Kiwis buy their first home. According to Treasury 6-8,000 first home buyers could be affected due to the new LVR restricitions1.

General Manager Retail, Ian Blair said HomeSaver is one way of helping first home buyers who are faced with steep savings targets to stay on track and reach their goal. 

“Our research shows it can take on average seven years to save for a house deposit and the average age of a first home buyer is 342,” said Mr Blair.

“We understand saving for a first home deposit is a major undertaking, and we want to help our customers reach this goal.  The earlier they start saving for their deposit the better,” said Mr Blair.

One of the key objectives of HomeSaver is to help customers demonstrate strong savings behaviour. Key requirements to qualify for the $1,000 first home booster at the time of their home loan draw-down, are that a person must save for at least six months and save a minimum of $10,000 towards their deposit. 

“It is tough times for first home buyers and we want to provide some practical support to help them stay on track and incentivise them to save long term.

“Our expectation is that people will be trying to save much more than $10,000.  However, we have set this as a realistic minimum goal to qualify for the lump sum when they draw down their home loan.”

Savings goals can be self-set and HomeSaver customers will receive regular progress updates and support from an e-coach.

To keep things interesting, savers will be able to choose what type of savings “coach” they prefer – a disciplinarian or supportive coach – and they will receive regular email messages from their “coach” to help focus them on their savings’ goal.

 

HOME SAVER FACT BOX

 $1,000 first home booster at time of loan drawdown to assist with home set up costs

  • Preference for HomeSaver customers for low equity mortgage approval
  • Savings E-coach
  • Six months minimum savings
  • $10,000 minimum saved
  • Calculator link to plan your savings
  • Strong return with Online Bonus Saver Account and Rate Specials

 1) Treasury: Loan to Value Restrictions Information Release October 2013

2) Retail Market Monitor