FHB numbers increase in December quarter

Fresh research has revealed that the December quarter saw an increase of almost 7 per cent in the number of first home buyers nationally.

According to the Adelaide Bank/Real Estate Institute of Australia Housing Affordability Report, the number of first home buyers increased by 6.6 per cent nationwide over the December quarter. This equated to an increase of 0.5 per cent on the December 2015 quarter.

Adelaide Bank general manager Damian Percy commented: “The number of Australian first home buyers increased to 23,273 comprising almost 14 per cent of the owner occupier market. Average loan sizes increased in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.”

However, he said that the “bad news” is that despite the increase, the level of first home buyers is still “well below” the historical average of 18.5 per cent of the owner occupier market since the early 1990s, although large land releases (such as those recently announced in Victoria) can be expected to improve opportunities to enter the market.

“Recent public lamentations on the plight facing first home buyers are welcome but one can’t help but think that the traditional unwillingness to confront those voters enjoying structural advantages that continue to keep a fire under house prices will lead to more gnashing of teeth rather than the lowering of prices,” he said.

Taking a closer look at the states, of the total number of Australian first home buyers that purchased during the December quarter, 30.4 per cent were from Victoria. The number of loans to first home buyers in Victoria increased by 9.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Meanwhile, of the total number of Australian first home buyers that purchased during the December quarter, 18.4 per cent were from NSW. Overall, first home buyers make up only 8.2 per cent of the state’s owner-occupier market, which is the lowest level across the nation.

Meanwhile, 24.9 per cent of FHBs were from Queensland and 5.4 per cent were from South Australia.

Western Australia recorded a 1.3 per cent increase in the number of first home buyers over the quarter.

The ACT recorded a 12 per cent increase in the number of loans to first home buyers. When compared to the December quarter 2015, the figure decreased by 3.7 per cent, and first home buyers made up 14.5 per cent of the territory’s owner-occupier market.

The number of loans to first home buyers in the Northern Territory increased by 4.8 per cent, which was a 29.9 per cent rise compared to the December quarter of 2015.

[Related: NSW must trump Victoria on housing reform: Cunningham]

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Francesca Krakue

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