The post-boom market might have cooled slightly, but there is still plenty of life left in the property market this spring. The shift from a seller’s to a buyer’s market means that first home buyers who had all but given up hope of home ownership are now faced with the best opportunity they’ve had in years to get onto the property ladder.
Industry crackdowns and reduced investor activity resulted in a frosty winter market, marred by passed-in auctions and a property price dip, but spring is set to be the season of the first home buyer.
Toby Balazs, CEO of realestateview.com.au, is optimistic about the outlook for the rest of the year.
“Spring is historically the busiest period for property,” he says. “With the stamp duty concessions and first home buyer incentives that were introduced last year, we can expect a higher proportion of first home buyers to enter the market.”
Many experts agree that it will be an increase in first home buyer activity that will shield the market from a crash, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.
Hobart is expected to continue enjoying strong growth fuelled in part by interstate investors seeking affordable options outside their hometowns. While Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide are forecast to achieve modest gains.
First home buyers in Victoria are relishing the benefits afforded to them by the State Government’s Homes for Victorians package, introduced last year.
The suite of measures included a stamp duty exemption for first home buyers purchasing properties for less than $600,000, with further concessions available on homes up to $750,000 in value, applied on a sliding scale. This move has given more affordable suburbs in Melbourne’s outer east, north and west a gentle boost, with first-time owners snapping up properties in locations such as Craigieburn, Cranbourne and Tarneit.
Fewer investors in the mix means less competition for auction debutantes, which should make the bidding war seem a little less intimidating, and many owners are winding back their excessive price expectations in the face of falling clearance rates —all of which makes for a dream come true for first home buyers.
For those looking to buy in regional Victoria, the Government is offering a boost to the tune of $20,000, doubling the first home buyers grant for new builds. Young Melbournians are flocking to regional towns such as Ballarat, and building their dream home on a spacious block for a fraction of what they could expect to pay, even on the outskirts of the capital.
First home buyer loan approvals are already on the rise, and agents are reporting a strong influx of enquiries from prospective first-time buyers.
“Already during the first two weeks of spring, visitors to our ‘buy’ section were up 25 percent compared to the same period in June, and total visitors were up 18 percent sitewide,” Toby reports.