The latest housing affordability report by iBuildNew, a listing site of homebuilders and land developers, tasked research firm Ipsos to survey 1,030 Australians to gauge their sentiment around buying property in Australia. Of these respondents, 216 were first home buyers (FHBs) looking to enter the local property market.
According to the data, finance was said to be the biggest barrier for over three-quarters (76 per cent) of FHBs, who said that they were locked out of the property market because they either couldn’t save for a deposit or secure a loan, or they did not have stable employment or income.
While there has been ongoing debate into accessing superannuation for house deposits in the run up to the budget, 55 per cent of those surveyed said that they did not think it was a good incentive to help the secure their first home.
On a state-by-state basis, this sentiment was most prevalent in NSW, where 62 per cent of survey respondents said they thought their super savings would help them secure their first home. Similar feelings were held in Western Australia and Victoria.
Those in Queensland were least sceptical, with 47 per cent thinking it would not be of benefit.
According to Daniel Peterson, CEO at iBuildNew, the hesitance is a reflection of a “lack of confidence the proposal will be legislated, a lack of understanding around the proposal, and perhaps the reality that many FHBs have relatively small super balances”.
First home buyer grants were ranked most wanted by the majority (72 per cent) of respondents as the most effective incentive from the government for getting into the housing market.
Speaking of these findings, Mr Peterson said: “First home buyers grants are simple and well understood, whereas new schemes such as access to super or a shared equity scheme are complicated and diminish longer-term value and benefits for home buyers.
“Creating incentives for first home buyers to buy a new home in outer suburbs or even regional areas (as recently announced by the Victorian state government) are terrific initiatives. Not only do they help get more people into their first home, they also drive demand away from existing properties (mainly in the inner suburbs) which over time will help alleviate pressure on housing prices across the board”.
As well as gauging sentiment on accessing finance, the survey also found that the majority of FHBs believe that an ‘affordable’ house would cost less than $600,000, while more than half believe it is under $450,000.
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Annie Kane is the editor of Mortgage Business.
As well as writing news and features on the Australian mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending market – Annie is also a regular contributor to the Mortgage Business Uncut podcast.
Before joining Momentum Media in 2016, Annie wrote for a range of business and consumer titles, including The Guardian (Australia), BBC Music Magazine, Elle (Australia), BBC Countryfile, BBC Homes & Antiques, and Resource magazine.