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First homebuyer market collapses

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Any hope of a revival in the first homebuyer market in Western Australia now appears to be in vain, with the latest data showing the number of first-time buyers sinking to a new low.

During the month of April, there were only 988 first homebuyers, compared to 2,322 in April last year. Of these, only 728 bought existing properties and 260 decided to build. This is a sharp decline from a year ago when 1,555 bought existing dwellings and 767 built new homes, according to the Office of State Revenue in WA.

Alan Bourke, REIWA president, said the latest FHOG data for April, coupled with reiwa.com sales and listings data, confirm the softening trend across many markets.

"The effects of six interest rate rises and the collapse in first homebuyer activity since January is now evident in all market indicators for Perth and Regional WA. The artificial boom of first-time buyers triggered by the Commonwealth grant has now well and truly ended."

REIWA also found that overall sales activity fell by 15% in Perth during April, with preliminary data for May suggesting there has been no further improvement. "This trend is matched with a steady increase in listings, which have risen from 12,700 at the end of March to 13,400 in mid-May. Of the properties for sale, just under 2,000 were for lots of land. There has also been no movement in the rental vacancy rate, which was sitting at 4.1% for the three months to April," said Bourke.

It's a similar story in regional WA, with reiwa.com showing sales falling in Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton during April.  "All of REIWA's broad market measures suggest there is little pressure on prices and the housing system in WA is coping well with current population growth," Bourke added.

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