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First-home buyers drive real estate surge as loan approvals hit pre-pandemic highs

Real estate & property news
30 May 2024
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Renewed market confidence amid strong buyer activity. First-home buyers are making a strong return to the real estate market nationwide, with home loan approvals reaching levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for March 2024, the number of new loan commitments for owner-occupier first-home buyers, in seasonally adjusted terms, rose 4.5 percent to 9,918, following a 5.4 percent rise in February. This is 9.9 percent higher compared to a year ago.

In Victoria, the number of new loan commitments increased by 5.8 percent.

Barry Plant Pakenham, Drouin and Berwick Managing Director Dan O’Loughlin said it was pleasing to see confidence being restored for younger Australians.

“Confidence is definitely back in the market, particularly among first-time homebuyers who are feeling more secure about their finances,” he said.

“First-time homebuyers are significantly outnumbering investors and owner-occupiers,remarkably taking up about 70 percent of our buyer base looking for homes priced under $750,000.
Dan O'Loughlin
Director - Barry Plant Pakenham, Berwick & Drouin

“Majority are actively attending open homes.”

First-home buyers are primarily interested in newer properties, specifically those with three to four bedrooms, according to Mr O’Loughlin.

“Homes that are less than 10-years-old are in high demand, while older homes, particularly those more than 20-years-old, are less appealing to these buyers,” he said.

The government has announced a new $700 million investment in the Victorian Homebuyer Fund shared equity scheme for 2024-25, which will be phased out and replaced by the federal government’s 'Help to Buy' initiative if it passes Federal Parliament.

The Fund’s cap on regional home prices will increase from $600,000 to $700,000, and single parents will be able to access the scheme’s dual-income threshold of $208,775.

Mr O’Loughlin said despite uncertainty around potential rate rises, the market will continue to show consistency.

“We had a fantastic May, and it has been pleasing to see such solid performance in the market, and I really don’t see it slowing through the winter months,” he said.

“I would think people are looking to maximise the current market stability rather than wait for spring, which might bring another rate hike, or an increase in house prices.”

If you're thinking about selling your property, now could be a great time to start the process. Reach out to our expert team for a free market appraisal.

Real estate & property news
30 May 2024
Save Article

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