RP Data reports that if you are looking to buy your first home, now may be the best time to do so, certainly many thousands are taking advantage of Stamp Duty concessions. The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that there has been a rebound in owner occupier first home buyer housing finance commitments.
In August 2017, there were 10,227 owner occupier first home buyer finance commitments. The 10,227 commitments was the greatest number since December 2009 and it represented 17.2% of all owner occupier housing finance commitments, its highest proportion since July 2013.
A big driver of the surge in first home buyer housing finance commitments has been some recent policy changes for first home buyers in the two largest states (NSW and Vic). From July 1 of this year first home buyers purchasing properties below $650,000 in NSW and below $600,000 in Vic do not have to pay stamp duty. In NSW stamp duty concessions are available up to a purchase price of $800,000 for first home buyers and in Vic concessions are available up to a purchase price of $750,000. Between June and August, the number of owner occupier first home buyer housing finance commitments has increased by 59% in NSW and 34% in Vic. This data highlights that stamp duty is one of the key barriers for first home buyers wanting to participate in the housing market, at least in NSW and Vic.
Outside of NSW and Vic, first home buyers are generally larger proportions of the owner occupier segment, suggesting easier housing affordability outside of Sydney and Melbourne have held first home buyer demand comparatively high.
The data points to an upswing in first home buyer activity in NSW and Vic which seems to be due to the removal of the impost of stamp duty when buying beneath certain price points. First home buyer activity has also increased of late in WA and NT, two markets where values have been falling for some time which could be creating opportunities for first time buyers previously unable to enter the market. Qld and the ACT have also seen upticks in first home buyer demand of late which is occurring due to moderately rising prices.
Overall, first home buyer market share is expected to continue to increase, driven by NSW and Vic where buyers are taking advantage of the concessions to enter into the market.
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