Despite price rises, buying a property is still one of our favourite pastimes in Australia. With more than hundreds of lenders wanting to finance your new home, there is plenty of competition.
All that competition means that there are often some tempting incentives or sign up offers with home loans on offer. This is especially true for First Home Buyers, a demographic that banks know are probably desperately searching for a good deal.
Once you’ve figured out how much you should borrow, you’ll have a huge number of home loan products to sort through, but only some will come with a little extra icing on top.
So with that in mind, we decided to see what Australian home loan providers had on offer for First Home Buyers
Home loan sign-up incentives for first home buyers
The table below shows all the sign-up promotions for first home buyers that we could find for May 2017 onwards, including a few deals for new residential home loans that are also available for non-first home buyers:
|Lender||Deal||Comparison Rate*||Conditions include||Offer valid until|
|ANZ||Conveyancing fee rebate of up to $1,000 for recipients of State or Territory government first home buyer concession||Varies||Applies to home loans over $250,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Must apply by 31 Oct 2017 and draw down loan by 31 Jan 2018|
|Australian Unity||Kickstarter Loan borrowers receive 10% discount on health insurance from Australian Unity and $100 credit towards home and contents insurance from Big Sky||From 3.82% p.a.||Applies to Kickstarter Loan product only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Bank Australia||No establishment fee on Variable Basic Home Loans||From 3.87% p.a.||(T&Cs apply.)||Until 31 Aug 2017|
|Bank of Sydney||Annual package fee waived for the life of the loan with Expect More PAYG Home Loan Package||3.70% p.a.||New applications with LVR of up to 70% only. (T&Cs apply.)||Must apply by 31 July 2017|
|BankSA||No establishment fee, and promotional discounted interest rate on Basic Home Loan||3.81% p.a.||Principal & Interest loans only. Minimum loan amount over $150,000. (T&Cs apply.)||From 30 June 2017 until further notice|
|Bankwest||3-year introductory rate of 1.51% p.a. discount off the average of ANZ, NAB & Westpac’s standard variable rates||4.19% p.a.||Equaliser Home Loan only. Minimum advertised interest rate 2.50% p.a. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Bendigo Bank||Save $600 on home loan fees||Varies||Bendigo Connect loan product only. Customer must have 2 additional products with Bendigo Bank. (T&Cs apply.)||Must apply by 30 Sep 2017|
|BOQ||1 free valuation (no valuation fee) per application for Clear Path Home Loan||4.60% p.a.||Clear Path Home Loan only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Commonwealth Bank||No upfront establishment or monthly fees||Varies||Wealth Package loan only. Minimum loan amount $150,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Community First Credit Union||Life-of-loan discount off the standard variable interest rate (rates from 4.27% p.a.)||From 4.72% p.a.||Accelerator Package Home Loan (over $250,000) only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|CUA||1 month’s premiums free every year for new policy holders with CUA Health Insurance||From 4.63% p.a.||Rate Breaker home loan only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Easy Street Financial Services||1-year fixed honeymoon interest rate from 3.49% p.a. for new Easy Street borrowers||From 4.09% p.a.||1-Year Fixed Honeymoon loan only. Minimum loan amount $50,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Must apply before 31 July 2017 and be funded by 31 Oct 2017|
|Family First Credit Union||1-year fixed introductory interest rate from 3.85% p.a. for first home buyers||From 3.85% p.a.||Discounted Variable Rate Home Loan product only. Minimum loan amount $20,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|First Option Credit Union||Fixed introductory interest rate of 3.99% p.a. for first 6 months of loan for first home buyers aged 18 to 35 years old||4.42% p.a.||Smart Start Home Loan product only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|G&C Mutual Bank||First Home Premium Package with no establishment fee, $0 monthly fee on transaction account, $0 annual fee on credit card, and up to 10% discount on home insurance||3.99% p.a.||First Home Premium Package loan only. Rates vary depending on loan LVR. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Gateway Credit Union||Granny Flat loan available for constructing or converting a granny flat on an existing property, with no ongoing fees||4.90% p.a.||Granny Flat loan only. Construction must start within 12 months of loan settlement. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Heritage Bank||Up to $50,000 cash (in addition to the loan amount) for home improvements on a fixer-upper||Varies||Loans eligible for the Heritage Bank Family Guarantee feature only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Hume Bank||2-year fixed introductory interest rate of 3.89% p.a. for first home buyers, reverting to a 0.7% discount off standard variable rate, with no establishment fee||4.69% p.a.||First Home Starters Package loan only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|ING Direct||$1,000 cash back when you apply online and settle||Varies||Minimum 20% deposit, minimum loan balance $300,000, principal and interest repayment loans only. Enter promotional code ING1000 when applying. Excludes property investors. (T&Cs apply.)||Must apply by 30 Sep 2017 and settle by 31 Dec 2017|
|Macquarie Credit Union||Discount of 1.20% off standard variable rate for Owner Occupied home loans (from 3.79% p.a.)||From 4.21% p.a.||Power Home Loan Package loans only. Minimum loan amount $200,000 for new borrowers. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|My Credit Union||Choice of variable or fixed rate for 1-year introductory interest rate (3.39% p.a.) for first 12 months of loan, with no ongoing fees||4.31% p.a.||Minimum loan amount $250,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|NAB||Receive 350,000 NAB rewards points when you take out an eligible home loan and banking bundle||Varies||Home loan must be $250,000 or more (T&Cs apply.)||Home loan must be applied for by 31 August 2017, and approved by 30 November 2017|
|Northern Inland Credit Union||3-year fixed introductory interest rate of 3.89% p.a., with subsequent option to split loan and fix up to 25% of the loan for 1-3 years, with no annual or monthly ongoing fees||5.06% p.a.||Minimum loan amount $20,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|QBANK||Discounted variable or fixed rates, with no monthly fees and establishment fee waived||Varies||Classic and Fixed Rate loans only. Rates vary depending on LVR. Minimum loan amount $50,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Qudos Bank||Earn 150 Qantas Points per year for every $1,000 on your loan balance (credited monthly)||4.19% p.a.||Qantas Points Home Loan only. Minimum loan amount $150,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Queenslanders Credit Union||Discounted variable and fixed interest rates for a limited time, with free mortgage offset account and free redraw facility||Varies, e.g.
Variable over $500k 4.06% p.a.
1-year fixed 4.48% p.a.
|Ultimate Home Loan only. Rates vary depending on loan amount. (T&Cs apply for variable and fixed.)||Until further notice|
|Reduce Home Loans||No establishment fee and no annual fee on Rate Buster Standard Variable home loan||3.44% p.a.||Rate Buster Standard Variable home loan only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Regional Australia Bank||Discount of 0.45% on basic variable rate for first 3 years (currently discounted interest rate of 3.91% p.a.), with no annual or monthly fees and no approval fee||4.33% p.a.||Basic Home Loan only. Minimum loan amount $100,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|SCU||Take out a home loan and receive $500 cash back||Varies||Minimum loan amount $150,000. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Select Encompass||Discount of 0.50% for 2 years (currently 3.74% p.a.), with no establishment fee, and no annual or monthly fees||4.15% p.a.||First Home Buyers Loan only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|St.George Bank||Promotional interest rate of 3.80% p.a. on a new Principal & Interest Basic Home Loan||3.81% p.a.||Excludes Interest Only loans. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Suncorp Bank||No establishment fee, no ongoing monthly account-keeping fee on transaction account, discounted home insurance||3.79% p.a.||Minimum loan amount $150,000. Combine a Back to Basics home loan account worth at least $150,000 with an Everyday Basics bank account. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|The Capricornian||3-year fixed introductory interest rate of 3.89% p.a., with no monthly fee||4.75% p.a.||Minimum loan amount $50,000. Reverts to 0.25% discount off standard variable rate. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|UBank||Discounted interest rate of 3.74% p.a., with no application fee, no ongoing fees, and no annual fees||3.74% p.a.||(T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank||No establishment fee, and borrow up to 100% of purchase price with Family Guarantee||Varies||First Home Buyers’ Package, available with Education Package Home Loan or Complete Home Loan only. (T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Virgin Money||Earn Velocity Points on loan settlement, monthly repayments, and every 3 years||3.92% p.a. variable
4.00% p.a. fixed
|(T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|WAW Credit Union||0.50% discount off Essentials Variable Rate for first 2 years (currently 3.98% p.a.), with no annual or monthly fees||4.43% p.a.||(T&Cs apply.)||Until further notice|
|Westpac||Chance to win a year of mortgage repayments paid by Westpac – have a Westpac take out home and contents insurance, car insurance, or travel insurance by 31 August||Varies||Mortgage repayments paid up to $50,000/year. (T&Cs apply.)||Must apply by 31 Aug 2017|
|Source: Providers’ websites as analysed by Canstar Editorial team, as at the time of the latest update on 17 July 2017. Based on advertised online promotions. Please note that conditions and exclusions may apply to these offers. Read all terms and conditions provided by the relevant institution.
*Read Canstar’s Comparison Rate Warning.
This includes only a sample of offers available from financial institutions for illustrative purposes and is not a product recommendation. Please check providers’ websites for current offers. Please note that various conditions apply to the deals outlined above, which are listed on the providers’ websites.
First home buyers should compare loans
So are home loan incentives or sign-up deals a good idea? Sometimes – but the thing that will make the biggest difference to the cost of your home loan is the interest rate that you are being charged and other fees that apply. You should also check what features are available for the type of loan you want to take out.
For further information on variable and 3 year fixed rate home loan products available for first home buyers, the below comparison tables has been formulated with direct links to the providers website. These have been sorted by our star ratings (highest to lowest). Please note that this table features products that are based on a loan amount of $450,000 for a property in NSW with a LVR of 80%.
3-Year Fixed Rate Loans
For example, the average standard variable home loan interest rate at the moment, calculated by Canstar, is 4.51% p.a. – but the lowest on Canstar’s database is 3.44% p.a.. On a $500,000 home loan on a 25-year loan term, that makes a difference in monthly repayments of around $295/month.
|Loan size||Interest rate||Monthly repayments|
|Source: Canstar Mortgage Repayments Calculator.
Calculated as monthly repayments over a 25-year loan term.
Approximate cost only, does not take into account other fees or costs.
A $295/month saving – or even just $150/month – could soon save you more money than a promotional incentive like a fee waiver or cash bonus might. Mind you, if you can get a promotional incentive and a great home loan rate, that’s a win-win.
It’s also definitely worth checking if the home you’ve got your heart set on makes you eligible for the First Home Owner’s Grant. That would almost certainly help more than a complimentary gift card or reward points!
So bottom line – if a home loan has a terrific, competitive interest rate and offers a good sign-up incentive, then it’s worth checking out. But if the sign-up incentive is good and the interest rate is just average – feel free to keep looking.
And even the interest rate is not the be-all and end-all. The fees and features of your home loan also need to suit the needs of your budget. See for yourself which loan would treat your budget better over the long-term – try out our easy-to-use Home Loan Comparison Calculator.