Bushby says the number of first home buyers, as a percentage of total owner occupied housing commitments, decreased to 14.9% in December 2012 and says this figure is the lowest since 2004.
Joel Pringle, campaign manager for AAH, says recent falls in interest rates seem to have benefited investors, but have left first home buyers cold.
“In spite of low interest rates, the struggles of potential first home buyers can be seen across the country and are part of a worrying trend. The proportion of first home buyers has collapsed from 21.1% in December 2011 to 14.9% in December 2012.”
Pringle says the drop in the proportion of first home buyers comes as average first home loans, and average home loans overall, are again increasing and warns that increasing house prices will provide further affordability challenges, should they continue.”
“The drop in first home buyers was most pronounced in NSW, likely as a result of the withdrawal of first home buyers’ grants. In the longer term, these grants simply push up prices, so we’ll be watching the longer term effects of this policy change.”
He says governments are continuing to ‘ignore’ the problem and says it’s getting harder for young families to buy their first home.
“It’s a shame that we are in an election year, but neither the government nor the opposition has offered anything other than the status quo. House prices will continue to run away from people’s ability to pay.”