Sidelined FHBs coming back in Queensland

by Adam Smith14 Jun 2012

First homebuyers are returning to the Queensland market after spending the last two years "waiting on the sidelines".

ABS data has indicated that first homebuyer commitments accounted for 20% of all Queensland owner-occcupied dwellings financed in April. The result is above the long-term average for the state, and is up 35% on the same period last year.

REIQ chair Pamela Bennett said first homebuyers were returning after being inactive in the market since the removal of the First Home Owners Boost in 2010.

"There is little doubt that the FHOB was a successful policy during the GFC which brought the buying decisions of many first homebuyers forward and helped to underpin our market during uncertain times. It has taken a few years for underlying demand from first-timers to strengthen once again and that is what we are now starting to see in the market," she said.

Bennett said interest rates had fallen since the removal of the FHOB, and that buyers could now access the $7,000 First Home Owners Grant, as well as stamp duty concessions up to $15,000. She said comparative affordability had also coaxed buyers back into the market.

"The REIQ median house price for Greater Brisbane, where Brisbane first home buyer activity is generally the strongest, is $425,000 compared to $641,000 in Sydney and $535,000 in Melbourne," Bennett said.