The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has shared the earliest data available from the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme's (FHLDS) first month of operation.
While the scheme is still in its infancy, the preliminary figures provide insight into the specific types of borrowers benefiting from the government initiative.
An NHFIC spokesperson told Australian Broker that the first 3,000 home buyers with pre-approvals under the scheme have been distributed through every state and territory and divided among capital cities, large regional centres and regional areas. Further, according to the spokesperson, "The average income for applicants with pre-approvals is well below the threshold for both singles and couples, allowing those on a modest income to buy their first home."
Thus far, the median taxable income at the pre-approval stage is just over $68,000 for singles against the scheme threshold of $125,000. For couples, it's around $108,000 as compared to the cap of $200,000. The NHFIC also shared that more than 60% of Australians with a place under the scheme are single.
While the geographic spread is "broadly in line" with the population shares for cities and towns throughout the country, Western Australia and South Australia have proven to be the two exceptions. In both states, participant involvement in the FHLDS is lower, as Australians with aspirations of home ownership have "naturally gravitated" to the state-specific first home buyer schemes already in place, such as Keystart in WA.
The spokesperson also emphasised that the NHFIC's website contains the resources necessary to help both first home buyers and brokers navigate the scheme, determine eligibility, understand the rules and parameters and lodge applications.
Since its launch at the beginning of January, major banks NAB and CBA have registered 3,000 potential first home buyers under the FHLDS. The remaining 7,000 places for the current financial year will be made available from 1 February, at which point applicants can choose from a panel of 27 lenders.
The scheme's rolling release of spots is intended to provide first home buyers the time and opportunity to gather the necessary financial information to support their application, with an additional 10,000 places to be made available from next financial year.