First home buyers still struggling
QUEENSLANDERS would rather forgo a holiday than get a second job to save for their first home, new research out today reveals.
The struggle to get on the property ladder is still real for first home buyers, despite the national housing market softening and lending restrictions tightening.
Westpac's 2018 Home Ownership Report found more than two in five first home buyers nationally are willing to get another job or work overtime to get into the property market, with saving for a deposit still the main hurdle to achieving the Great Australian Dream.
But the survey found only 33 per cent of people looking to buy their first home in Queensland would be prepared to take up a new source of income to achieve it, compared with the national average of 45 per cent.
Westpac's head of home ownership Lauren Fine said Queenslanders were more willing to compromise when it came to holidays, with 56 per cent willing to go on fewer vacations, compared with 52 per cent nationally.
"Maybe they don't need to because they've already got beautiful weather!" Ms Fine said.
The survey of more than 1400 people also reveals nearly 60 per cent of aspiring first homeowners in Queensland are feeling more positive about the housing market than they were 12 months ago and 65 per cent believe buying a home is closer now than it was this time last year.
"The softening of the housing market has helped," Ms Fine said.
"It's suddenly helped them realise there is actually a potential opportunity to get in to the market.
"As prices come down, so do all the costs associated with that transaction, and it also makes it more accessible from a government grant perspective because now they might be in an eligible price range when they weren't before."
But researchers at Grattan Institute say the softening property market and tighter lending restrictions might be pushing investors out, but they're not helping first home buyers.
Grattan Institute wants all states and territories to follow the lead of the ACT and replace stamp duties with broadbased property taxes in the hope of improving home ownership numbers.
Master Builders Queensland is also calling on the state government to reinstate the boost to the First Home Owners' Grant, from $15,000 to $20,000, in regional Queensland.
Recent figures from Queensland home builder Porter Davis reveals 46 per cent of would-be home buyers in the market right now are looking to purchase their first property.
And more than half them would consider moving more than 20kms from where they currently live to secure their first home.
Porter Davis Queensland marketing manager Kelly Jones said she believed now was the time for first home buyers to break into the state market.
"The sunshine state has traditionally been seen as more affordable than New South Wales and Victoria, but with population growth and reductions to the First Home Owners Grant - matched with improving economic conditions - affordability is decreasing," Ms Jones said.
"We also recognise that changes to lending as well as credit constraints will continue to be a barrier for first home buyers."
Nic Tungatoa and his partner, Petra Mackintosh, are about to build their first home in Azure Development Group's The Avenue project in Ormeau.
Mr Tungatoa said it was possible to get in to the market without having to forgo holidays or get a second job.
He said he found a builder who agreed to match the state government's $15,000 First Home Owners' Grant, which made the process much easier.
"What helped us a lot was our builder - some builders will match (the grant)," Mr Tungatoa said.
"So, we actually walked into it with an extra $30,000."
TIPS FOR FIRST HOME BUYERS
*Do your research - decide where you want to live, understand what you can afford and consider how much you are willing to compromise
*Start saving for a deposit. Start a budget and consider how much extra money will be needed for associated costs such as moving, renovating, sales and legal fees, stamp duty, etc
*Talk to a mortgage broker or go into your bank and discuss the different options available to enter the market sooner such as Parental Guarantee and Lenders Mortgage Insurance
*Westpac has launched a new Home Saver Calculator designed to help buyers understand how long it could take to save for a deposit