Gen Y: Reaping the upside of the downturn with caution

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Recent changes in both the economy and government incentives have flipped a seemingly far off home ownership dream into an instant reality for Generation Y Australians.

Raine & Horne CEO Angus Raine said many Gen Ys feel this is the best chance they are ever going to have to own a home, and that's pushed the latest surge in first homebuyers entering the market.

But he adds this latest generation has taken a lesson from those past and is being more cautious this time around.

"They are smart, tech savvy, information gatherers who have watched the economic crisis unfold and they don't want to be a future foreclosure statistic," Raine said. "These young homebuyers are behaving conservatively. They are not going to make the mistake of overextending themselves with their mortgage."

The numbers are backing the trend in a surge of new buyers. NSW Premier Nathan Rees this week announced the state's first homebuyers have set the record to date with more grants paid out in May this year than ever before in the history of the first homebuyers scheme.

Gary Lees, managing director of sales for Raine & Horne Financial Services, said the volume of lodgments from first homebuyers in the three months from May increased from 17% to 41% when compared to the same time period last year. The actual number of loans also increased, from 23% to 48%. Talk to an expert to have all your mortgage questions answered for free, potentially saving you thousands.

Lees said most buyers were from Gen Y. He added many had opted not to borrow to the full extent of their capabilities.

"They are doing this to ensure that they will be able to meet mortgage payments, even if interest rates increase in coming years," he said.

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