First-home buyers are dominating the Australian real estate market in a way not seen in more than a decade – blowing away years of complaints of housing unaffordability.
As Australia’s property market continues to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, figures provided by the Real Estate Institute of Australia reveal first-home buyers make up a greater percentage of property owners than they have since 2009.
According to the REIA Housing Affordability Report: “[Over the September quarter] the number of first-home buyers increased to 36,687, an increase of 36.1 per cent during the quarter and compared to the September quarter 2019.
“First-home buyers now make up 40.8 per cent of owner-occupier dwelling commitments, which is the highest since September 2009 where it reached 43.1 per cent.”
It is also the largest quarterly increase in first home ownership since 2010.
The boom in first-home buyers comes as good news to those who have struggled for years to afford their own place. It also comes as a great sign to state and federal governments, whose moves — such as grants and incentives to address the issue of housing affordability — are working.
The federal government is also leaning on the real estate and construction industries to lead the way out of our COVID-19-enforced recession.
Record low interest rates and the stable market have been the main drivers of this welcome new first-home buyer trend, according to REIA President Adrian Kelly, who pointed to a rise in housing affordability over the September quarter.
“This is particularly good news given the large challenges faced by tenants at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “The average loan size to first-home buyers decreased to $406,223, a decrease of 5.4 per cent over the quarter, but an increase of 0.8 per cent over the past 12 months.”
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which allows first-home buyers to purchase a home with as little as five per cent deposit, along with with stamp duty exclusions and concessions, has made the market more accessible.