First home buyers at lowest ever levels

by 14 Jan 2014
The number of first home buyers has bottomed out in Australia, reaching record lows in the final months of 2013.

According to the latest ABS data the proportion of first home buyers fell to just 12.3% in November, the lowest figure since records began in July 1991, and well below the long-run average of 19.9%.

In light of the figures, REIA president Peter Bushby has called on all governments to review their support for first home buyers.

The continued fall of first home buyers is despite overall growth in total lending in response to interest rate cuts and a positive outlook for much of the country, said REIA president Peter Bushby.

Housing finance figures for November 2013 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments rose by 0.6 per cent, following increases of 0.8 per cent in October and September. This is the lowest monthly increase, in trend terms, since January 2013.

If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms for November, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.7 per cent.

“Increases were recorded in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia, with Tasmania having the biggest rise, up 2.4 per cent. The Australian Capital Territory’s fall of 1.4 per cent was the country’s largest,” said Bushby.

“In trend terms, the number of commitments for the construction of new dwellings climbed 1.1 per cent and the purchase of established dwellings went up 0.7 per cent,” he said. “However the purchase of new dwellings fell by 0.6 per cent.”

The value of investment housing commitments continued to increase, with a rise of 3.0 per cent, in trend terms, in November resulting in well over two years of consecutive monthly increases. 


  • by FHO Wanabee Buyer 14/01/2014 9:13:05 AM

    Good luck to others looking at buying their first home. The market is primed for investors with negative gearing but there is little opportunity for single FHO's to enter the market unless they are happy enough to be on solid incomes.

  • by Loretta 14/01/2014 9:27:22 AM

    3 words - Lenders Mortgage insurance - No wonder FHB numbers are down. LMI has priced people out of the market and has unfair lending criteria, especially if you are located in SE Qld. Just when you think you have ticked all the boxes for formal approval LMI changes the goal posts as they see fit without any warning. Explain that to the client!

  • by Tim H 14/01/2014 10:11:35 AM

    To FHO Wanabee Buyer If you want to buy a home then you need a solid income. Why would a lender take a risk on someone whose income is dubious at best. Buying your first home is not like buying a car or a holiday. It is a long term major commitment. It's about time people started to realise this and stopped bleating about not enough government handouts. The major building companies also need to reconsider their position and focus on building smaller more affordable properties and not the McMansions they are trying to force First Home Buyers to purchase.