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First home buyer numbers have halved: is it time to swoop in?

Repeated cash rate hikes have put many first home buyer plans on hold. So could you swoop in and reap the benefits with less competition in the market?

In case you missed it, from May to December the RBA lifted the cash rate from 0.10% to 3.10%.

This has no doubt hit many mortgage holders hard, but it’s also pumped the brakes on the number of first home buyers looking to enter the property market.

In fact, current Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the number of first-home buyers fell 3.2% to 8,576 in October alone.

That’s almost half the 16,187 first home buyers who entered the market during the January 2021 peak.

So, if you’re looking to buy, how can this benefit you?

Let’s take a look.

Less competition and more bargaining power

From mid-2020 to the end of 2021 we saw a house buying frenzy. And house hunters who were unable to compete had to make do with the leftovers.

But fewer buyers on the market means there’s less of a chance you’ll have to duke it out for your chosen property.

There could also be more favourable homes for you to choose from, without the overcrowded open houses.

And with fewer buyers making offers, sellers could have concerns about offloading their property.

November 2022 CoreLogic data shows the median days a property sits on the market is 35, compared to just 20 days in 2021.

So, if you’ve got your financial ducks in a row and are prepared to negotiate … flex that bargaining power and try for a great price.

Softening property prices

High demand in recent years saw property reach eye-watering prices. But over the past three months there’s been a decline around most parts of the country (barring regional South Australia and regional Western Australia).

In fact, national data has shown the biggest annual decline in home values since 2019, with a 3.2% drop over the past year.

In some instances, it could be cheaper to buy than rent. National median weekly rental prices rose by 4.3% in September this year – a record-breaking price hike.

And a recent analysis found that for 518 Australian suburbs, home loan payments were more affordable than renting.

Escaping the rent crunch and buying your first home in an opportune area could be a smooth move if your finances are in decent shape.

And you might want to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.

That’s because prices could go up again as early as next year if the RBA pauses rate rises and inflation drops, according to SQM Research’s Housing Boom and Bust Report for 2023.

Government schemes for savings

Taking advantage of government incentives puts the keys in first home buyers’ hands 4 to 4.5 years quicker, on average.

Giving lenders mortgage insurance the big swerve, paired with a low deposit of 5%, is an enticing deal.

And if you’re eligible, that’s what the government’s First Home Guarantee can offer.

Spots are limited though and have historically been snapped up quickly.

But with fewer first home buyers entering the market, you may have more of a chance of nabbing a spot in the scheme.

Find out more

So, if you’re ready to make the big leap toward home ownership, give us a call.

We’ve got the know-how to help you work out your borrowing capacity and your mortgage options.

We’ll take the confusion out of financing your new home, so you can get on with swooping in on the house of your dreams.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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