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NAB has informed brokers that it has introduced a “waitlist” for prospective borrowers applying for loan backed by the federal government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS).
Aspiring first home buyers (FHBs) will now be required to request to join the queue and await the go-ahead from NAB’s support team before submitting an application for conditional approval.
Brokers have been encouraged to prepare their clients’ application while waiting to be notified.
According to NAB, the new process, which was effective from Wednesday, 22 July, has been introduced to “manage demand” for the “extremely popular” government guarantee.
Earlier this month, an additional 10,000 places became available as part of the second phase of the FHLDS.
NAB approved over 1,000 scheme-backed home loan applications during the first phase of the FHLDS, which launched in January.
Rachel Slade, NAB group executive, personal banking, has previously highlighted the diversity of FHLDS applicants.
“It’s great to see so many Australians purchase their first home sooner than they expected, even at a time when the coronavirus crisis has impacted the housing market,” she said.
“We have seen a diverse range of customers access the scheme. We’re seeing both young home buyers in their 20s or 30s and customers in their 50s buying their first property.”
However, strong uptake of the FHLDS has been juxtaposed by broader weakness in demand for credit amid COVID-induced economic uncertainty.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest Lending Indicators data, the value of home loan approvals plunged 11.6 per cent (seasonally adjusted terms) to $16.4 billion in May – the largest fall in the history of the series.
This followed a 4.8 per cent decline in April, which was the sharpest fall since May 2015.
[Related: Second tranche of FHLDS launches]