Buying your first home can often be a pretty daunting prospect, and one of the biggest steps can be finding the right lender and home loan for you.
It’s with this in mind that Canstar has announced the winners of its 2019 First Home Buyer Award, which recognises the bank and customer-owned institutions on our database offering the strongest combinations of products and services across the first home buyer market in Australia.
This year, Canstar Research analysed 661 home loan products from 81 lenders. Products were assessed using a methodology which takes both pricing and features into account, as well as other relevant factors such as the minimum required deposit and any additional services that lenders provided specifically to benefit first home buyers.
There are eight Awards in total: one national Award for Bank of the Year, and one Customer Owned Institution of the Year Award each for New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
2019 First Home Buyer Award Winners
Bank of the Year – First Home Buyer (National):
Customer-Owned Institutions of the Year – First Home Buyer (state and territory-based):
New South Wales – Newcastle Permanent
Queensland – Heritage Bank
South Australia, Victoria & the Northern Territory – People’s Choice Credit Union
Tasmania – Bank of Us
Western Australia – Beyond Bank
Bank of the Year – First Home Buyer: ANZ
ANZ has once again won Canstar’s national Bank of the Year – First Home Buyer Award. This marks the fourth time ANZ has won the Award, having also been successful in 2018, 2017, and 2015.
Canstar Research found that ANZ continues to offer competitive pricing to first home buyers across a comprehensive range of loans. At the time of writing, ANZ advertises variable rates as low as 3.38% (comparison rate 3.42%) on its Simplicity Plus product for principal and interest home loans with LVRs of up to 80%.
Canstar’s Group Manager of Research Mitch Watson said ANZ also continues to provide first home buyers with a number of impressive features and additional services, including obligation-free access to tools, calculators, free property profile reports, as well as an extensive branch and mobile lender network.
“As an example, ANZ’s First Home Coach program provides valuable support to prospective first home buyers, helping them develop a savings plan to get them closer to their house deposit,” Mr Watson said.
“This service provides assistance with several aspects of the first home buying process, including planning, locating, and purchasing. It takes the buyer’s individual circumstances into account when helping them develop a savings plan.”
New South Wales Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer: Newcastle Permanent
Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer for NSW was awarded to Newcastle Permanent for a fifth consecutive year. New South Wales’ largest customer-owned banking institution scored highly for its competitive fees and rates, and Canstar Research highlighted its Premium Plus Package as offering particularly good value for first home buyers. At the time of writing the package comes with an advertised variable interest rate of 3.59% (comparison rate 3.98%) for buyers with a deposit of 10% or more.
For first home buyers saving towards a deposit, Newcastle Permanent’s Smart Saver account offers an interest rate of up to 2.05%.
Queensland Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer: Heritage Bank
Heritage Bank has again won the Queensland Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer Award. This is the fourth time it’s taken top spot in the Sunshine State. Canstar Research recognised Heritage Bank for its competitive rates, with rates on offer from as low as 3.42% (comparison rate 3.47%) on its Discount Variable Home Loan and 3.44% (comparison rate 3.89%) on its Home Advantage Package 2 Year Fixed rate.
Heritage Bank also offers a suite of tools aimed at helping and educating first home buyers, and for its extensive network of branches – 40 in total – in the state.
South Australia, Victoria, & Northern Territory Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer: People’s Choice Credit Union
People’s Choice Credit Union took top spot in South Australia, Victoria, and the Northern Territory for a third year, having won in all three locations consecutively since 2017. It was the only provider to win in multiple states or territories.
Canstar Research found that with more than 40 branches around Australia and a free online guide to buying your first home, the credit union offers plenty of accessibility and assistance to first home buyers.
Its products also performed strongly against the market, with its First Home Buyer Package available for fixed terms for as low as 3.13% (comparison rate 4.28%) on its First Home Buyer 2 Year Fixed Package or 3.34% (comparison rate 3.75%) on its Home Loan Package Standard Variable Special Offer for their variable home loans for those with at least a 10% deposit.
Tasmania Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer: Bank of Us
The Tasmania-based institution won the state’s Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer Award. This year, Canstar Research noted Bank of Us’s FlexiDiscount Home Loan with a variable rate of 3.73% (comparison rate 3.75%) as its standout variable product, while for those willing to fix their interest, it advertises rates as low as 3.49% (comparison rate 3.58%) on its FlexiDiscount Special 2 Year Fixed Home Loan. Bank of Us also supports first home buyers with a range of buyer guides, tools and calculators, plus state-wide branch access at eight different locations around Tasmania.
Western Australia Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer: Beyond Bank
Beyond Bank has been named Customer-Owned Institution of the Year – First Home Buyer for Western Australia for the second year in a row. It once again performed strongly across both its fixed and variable-rate products, and scored highly for its helpful range of features, the assistance provided to first home buyers in the form of information and education, and its extensive branch network. Beyond Bank currently advertises variable interest rates from as low as 3.47% (comparison rate 3.47%) on its Special Low Rate Variable Home Loan or 3.39% (comparison rate 4.48%) on its Total Home Loan Package 3 Year Fixed Special for those looking to fix their interest rate.