At Genworth Australia’s inaugural Broker Day recently, Mr Symond highlighted a growing social trend whereby many first home buyers appear to be renting accommodation in convenient CBD locations and buying more affordable investment properties further out of the city.
“The first home buyer is copping a bashing, they are really being forced out of home ownership,” he said.
“When you take a place like Sydney, new housing estates that are anywhere near affordable [are often] 30 or 40 kilometres out of the city.
“They [first homebuyers] would rather rent near the city, near the cool restaurants, near work, and buy investment properties way out. This is why renting in the inner city is becoming a very tight market.”
Mr Symond’s comments echo those of Mortgage Choice chief executive Michael Russell, who says that FHBs are adding to the prudential regulator’s concerns over investor lending.
Mr Russell identified a “paradigm shift” in the behaviour of first home buyers towards investment property that is skewing data presented to the regulator.
In September last year, Mortgage Choice surveyed 1,000 FHBs and found that more than 21 per cent (at least one in five) are now electing to buy an investment property as their first property purchase.
“This is significantly up on what that number would have been five years ago,” Mr Russell said.
“They are electing to rent in an area they want to live in and can't afford and are investing in an area they don’t want to live in and can afford,” he said.
“This is skewing the comparisons being made. We really hope that the regulators looking at trying to stymie the growth in investor lending will look beneath the numbers. This buying behaviour change is very real.”