More Australians are interested in buying a first home now, drawn especially by the historically low interest rates, according to a new survey by a mortgage broker.
Some 76% of potential first homebuyers are planning to buy a house, according to the nationwide survey of 1,012 people by Mortgage Choice, released this month. That figure is a 40% increase on last year's survey, conducted in July, when only slightly more than half the respondents said they were interested in buying one.
But rather than live further out in a newly built property, most prefer to stick to existing structures. So, despite the government incentive favouring new homes that includes $7,000 or more in grants, the survey also showed 71% of respondents plan to buy an established home.
As well as gauging interest in buying, the study looked into motivation, and the leading factor was the low interest rates, influencing 65% of respondents, followed by 54% who had already planned to purchase a property for a long time. Low property prices at 49% was another factor, as was the increase to the First Home Owner Grant at 45%. Some 35% said current rents were driving them into considering a purchase.
"We are living in rapidly evolving conditions, but it appears that many potential first-timers are finally coming out of their shells and are determined to snap up a bargain," said Mortgage Choice Senior Corporate Affairs Manager Kristy Sheppard.
She said buyers seem to have more confidence than in the previous year.
Some 12% of respondents said they planned to turn their first purchase into an investment property.
Despite growing unemployment and financial woes - or perhaps because of them - more first homebuyers are saving more money as well. Some 66% had saved more than $10,000 this year, compared to 43% last year.
"It's great to see first homebuyers have been saving hard for their deposits," says Sheppard. "It seems they are pulling through the financial crisis - with remarkable results."
With interest rates at their lowest for more than 50 years, there are some great rates available. The best thing to do is to compare rates from all the lenders. Let us help take the leg work out of doing this - Compare Home Loans now