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Rent-to-buy helping get foot in the homeownership door

The first residents have moved into Claremont by Mirvac, taking advantage of the state’s flagship rent-to-buy apartment development.

By reducing the deposit required, the initiative aimed to make homeownership more achievable, according to Mirvac Residential Development Western Australia General Manager Paige Walker.

“The response of purchasers derived from the rent-to-buy model has been favourable and has included people who are first homebuyers and upgraders,” she said.

“This has been a truly unique opportunity for Mirvac to help potential purchasers find a way into the property market, getting them off the rental treadmill, so they can start creating the lifestyle they aspire to.”

Providing the opportunity for residents to put down a minimum 2.5 per cent deposit, then move in and save for their deposit and stamp duty by paying regular fortnightly instalments, Ms Walker said the development had allowed purchasers to secure a future in one of Perth’s most prestigious riverside suburbs.

“Once the tenant has saved the total deposit amount, as well as stamp duty, they then buy the apartment, entering into the contract of sale under normal finance conditions established with an independent provider,” she said.

Although rent-to-buy arrangements are common in the US and Europe, Ms Walker said they were relatively uncommon here in Australia.

“While a handful of private owners and smaller-scale groups have offered the arrangement locally, Mirvac is the first major national developer to offer buyers a rent-to-buy opportunity, applying the necessary structures and processes to ensure a transparent, fair and equitable agreement for purchasers in Australia,” she said.

“We have worked very hard on the initiative to ensure that it is beneficial to both parties, and we’re excited to launch it in Australia.”

Tenants under the arrangement are not required to pay a rental bond, nor are they subject to strata levies and council rates.

Ms Walker believed the initiative simply made financial and social sense and said it was the social responsibility of property developers to make homeownership more accessible.

“It also allows Mirvac to capture a section of the market that otherwise may have been shut out of homeownership,” she said.

Last year, the Claremont rent-to-buy campaign by Mirvac took out the UDIA WA Awards for Excellence in the Marketing Excellence category. Their new initiative, Right Start by Mirvac, is similarly designed to assist people getting into the market by allowing pre-qualified first homebuyers to exchange on a five per cent deposit and offering priority to purchase ahead of investors.

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