Conditions now best in history for first homebuyers

Data from Aussie Home Loans, a mortgage lender, showed that 31 per cent of inquiries came from Queenslanders, followed by Victoria and Tasmania (25 per cent), and New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (24 per cent) in June.

However, separate research revealed that seven out of ten first homebuyers were failing to take advantage of the positive market conditions because they did not know how to go about it.

Of those surveyed, 58 per cent said they were “struggling to navigate the mortgage market, often feeling overwhelmed and confused”, while 90 per cent admitted to not knowing what the Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme was, despite it being only one of several schemes designed to help first homebuyers on the market.

Most of the respondents (81 per cent) indicated they needed financial guidance, with 65 per cent planning to turn to a mortgage broker for help.

Aussie Home Loans chief customer officer David Smith said “overwhelmed” was the number one word respondents used.

“There’s so much to consider from, choosing the right place, to then trying to get the finances lined up. We find ourselves in an environment that was already a bit stressful and confusing and then we’ve had bushfires, floods and pandemics to make everyone a bit more anxious. Ironically, if you’re in full-time employment, you’re in a great position. Interest rates are as the lowest they’ve been in history and conditions are the best they have ever been for first homebuyers.”

“Getting on the property ladder is within arm’s reach for anyone if they dedicate themselves to growing their savings, but confusion around what can help Australians get there more quickly and easily is stopping many aspiring buyers from achieving their goals.”

Zoe and Zach Templeton, both 25, saved for two years to get into their first home this year.

“We would rather see our payments going towards paying off a loan and starting our future together. We wanted to find a house to move into before we got married, so we could start married life in our first home,” Mrs Templeton said.

They offered $535,000 for a three-bedroom, two bathroom property last year, qualifying for a percentage off their stamp duty (given it was under $550,000). They also did not have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance because they had a 20 per cent deposit.

“Neither of us had taken out a loan before,” Mrs Templeton said. “Luckily, we were already quite money conscious and budgeted all of our expenses.”

They said it was “very surreal and exciting” to buy a home, but definitely a challenge.

“We had to learn a lot about the market very quickly to make sure we could take advantage of all first homebuyer benefits, not get taken advantage of, get the best deal possible and were aware of all the risks. We were very lucky to have our parents’ support and that of a financial expert throughout the process.”