Report says time ripe for buying

A local pensioner doesn't understand why an insurance company wanted him to cover his home for twice its market value.
A local pensioner doesn't understand why an insurance company wanted him to cover his home for twice its market value.

FIRST home buyers say now is the time to buy but holding out for "good value" purchases.

New findings from the national RAMS First Home Buyers' Pulse Check survey reveals almost three in four first home buyers believed now is a good time to purchase, but only 17 per cent were seeking to buy within the next three months.

Two thirds were optimistic they would purchase their first home within 12 months with affordability the key trigger when making a purchasing decision - nearly three times higher than interest rates alone (66.8% vs 27.4%).

RAMS chief executive Melos Sulicich said first home buyers were making more informed choices, taking time to research the market and not rushing in.

"Although many first home buyers say the time to buy is now with interest rates recently coming down and property prices relatively stable, the days of Government incentives that drove sizzling hot demand and frenzied purchasing decisions among first home buyers are definitely over," Mr Sulicich said.

"Good deals are out there for first home buyers but a general lack of confidence to take the first step may see some miss out on their ideal property to savvy investors.

"Buying a first home is one of the biggest but also the most rewarding decisions Australians can make so it's important to have the right balance between weighing up your options and jumping in.

"Interestingly, the most important factor when choosing a first home is 'good value' (7.7 out of 10) followed by proximity to transport, shops and lifestyle (6.8 and 6.7 respectively).

"First home buyers have told us they are less likely to be influenced by an emotional connection to a property or a prestige location (4.4 and 3.8 respectively)."

Since the launch of the annual RAMS First Home Buyers Pulse Check Survey four years ago, the profile of the typical first home buyer has evolved.

First Home Buyers are more likely to delay their first purchase to their mid to late 20s, reside in a capital city and be employed full-time with high incomes.

There has been a steady increase over the years of first home buyers saving 50% or more of their household income towards a home deposit, possibly suggesting that higher property prices are leading to a greater savings burden over time.

The 2012 RAMS survey shows those people living with family say they are more likely to be able buy a home within three months due to financial support and backing, compared to those who are renting.

About 70% of first home buyers are renting and 26% are living with parents or other family members to get a head start into their first home.

Women say they are more likely to share the purchasing decision compared to men.

Mr Sulicich said "first home buyers have told us some of the key challenges to saving for home loan deposit are paying an average of $320 per week in rent, having unexpected expenses and the general cost of living".

"About six in 10 respondents are saving for a deposit through a high interest savings account to maximise their rate of return and improve their purchasing power."

Topics:  first home buyers housing rams

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