First homebuyers still slow to act

First homebuyers still slow to act

Posted on Monday, December 02 2013 at 3:03 PM

The proportion of first homebuyers entering the property market remains flat, with the country’s largest mortgage brokerage recording continued declines.

Of all the home loans processed across
Australia by Australian Finance Group (AFG) in the month of November, just 10.3
per cent were for first-time buyers.

That result is in stark contrast to
investor numbers, which the company reports rose again last month to 39.9 per
cent of all loans.

All up, AFG processed $3.99 billion worth
of loans in November. The average mortgage was for $436,000, which represents
an increase of eight per cent since May.

“The increase in average home loans may be
as much a consequence of greater participation by investors and borrowers
seeking to upgrade their homes, than of rising house prices,” the company says.

First homebuyer participation varied state
to state, with AFG recording its worst ever figure for New South Wales of 2.8
per cent.

Elsewhere, first-timers comprised 6.2 per
cent of all processed loans in Queensland, 11.4 per cent in Victoria, 16 per
cent in South Australia and 20.2 per cent in Western Australia.

Mark Hewitt, general manager of sales and
operations for AFG, says the overall mortgage market is robust and in “good

“It’s encouraging to see more people
willing to upgrade their homes and buy investment properties.”

Urgent action is needed to address the
absence of first homebuyers, he says, particularly in NSW and Queensland.

“We need to see a lot more people get on the
property ladder to underpin the long-term sustainability of those markets.”

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