First homebuyers approaching average broker age

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A fifth of Australian first time home buyers are over forty years old, according to new statistics compiled on people who plan to buy their first home in the next two years.

The 2012 Mortgage Choice Future First Homebuyer Survey, which analysed 1,000 people, shows 14% will be 40-49 and 6% will be aged over 50 years when they buy their first home.

The survey also found first homebuyers now intend to save for an average of two years before purchasing their property, compared to 1.8 years when the survey was conducted in 2011. These first-time buyers are currently saving an average of 26% of their monthly after tax income.

Fears over job security have rocketed over the past year, with almost one in five (18%) up-coming first homebuyers claiming this is their greatest concern, compared to just 11% last year.

Conversely, market conditions now mean that fewer buyers are concerned about rising house prices (22% this year compared to 31% in 2011) and even fewer are concerned about the impact of interest rates on their ability to purchase their first home (8% this year compared to 14% in 2011).

The survey found that first homebuyers’ property decisions are largely driven by lifestyle factors. The greatest motivator for first time buyers was to set themselves up financially for the future by getting a foot in the property market door (57%) while almost half (49%) said they would like to purchase a property where they can raise their family. The third largest motivation for first homebuyers was to avoid rising rent, which is making owning a property more attractive (42%).

Company spokeswoman Belinda Williamson says she believes people are saving longer for a number of reasons, but that home ownership is still a dream for many Australians.

“The overall cost and financial benefits of home ownership are going to add weight to the decision but as our survey results show, the more emotional factors such as where you envisage bringing up your children is very high on the influencing stakes.”

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