Housing affordability remains the top concern of 1,000 first-time home buyers, according to a survey done by St. George Research.

St. George general manager of retail banking Ross Miller says that many borrowers are looking at properties that had the potential to become an investment.

"After affordability, buying in an upcoming and coming area with potential house price growth has become the most important priority for first home buyers," he says. "First home buyers are wise to view their purchase as an investment."

However, with property prices continuing to soar in Melbourne, Sydney, and other capital cities, one in four respondents say that they have to compromise in order to achieve their great Australian dream. The report showed that almost half of the respondents had to compromise on both the location and price of their investment.

But with a possible rate cut in the next board meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Mortgage Choice spokeswoman Jessica Darnbrough believes that "first home buyers are savvier than ever."

"They know that interest rates are sitting at all-time lows and property prices are rising across a wide range of markets, and as such, they see a great opportunity to get on the property ladder and start building a profitable financial future," she says.

According to the latest Mortgage Choice data, 36 per cent of property investors are first-time purchasers. Darnbrough expects this figure to climb, as first home buyers start choosing investment properties in areas they can afford before they buy a property to live in themselves.

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