First homebuyer confidence hits record high

by Julia Corderoy30 Mar 2015
First homebuyer confidence hit a record high in March, according to the latest report.

The 10th edition of Genworth’s Streets Ahead saw first homebuyer confidence increase to a record high of 102.1 in March 2015, with 66% believing that now is a good time to buy a home.

However, Genworth’s chief commercial officer, Bridget Sakr says accessibility still remains an issue for first homebuyers.

“Our research suggests that the first homebuyer segment appears to be more concerned about gaining access to the property market than their ability to service a mortgage,” she said.

“Over a third of prospective first homebuyers indicated that high property prices are the greatest barrier to home ownership, while one in five suggested it was saving for a deposit.”

While the average deposit, as a proportion of property value, has remained relatively stable since 2009, the time taken to source a deposit has decreased.

One reason for this is that the proportion of first homebuyers using non-savings sources for their deposit has increased, from 46% in 2009 to 57% in 2014, according to the report. 

“The report suggests that first homebuyers are increasingly turning to personal debt to fund their deposits, as well as relying on gifts from family,” Sakr said.

“Saving a deposit clearly remains a key obstacle for first homebuyers looking to enter the market and points to the importance of low deposit options such as Lenders Mortgage Insurance.”

Across overall homebuyer confidence, Western Australia recorded the highest confidence index (101.6) and largest increase of all the states, while Victoria recorded the lowest confidence index (97.6) and was the only state to see a fall since September 2014.

The survey also revealed that the proportion of all homeowners making overpayments on their mortgage increased from 45% in September 2014, to 51% in March 2015.