FIRST HOME BUYERS

A few weeks back, the talking heads applauded the return of the first home buyer.  A sample of what was written in the press follows:

Official figures show that 8,573 mortgage loans were taken out by first-time buyers in June, which is the highest level in almost three years.  The total value of loan commitments to this segment of the mortgage market topped $A28.5bn in the year to June.

In the same articles, comments, again based on the June housing finance figures, suggested that the Aussie housing market was at, or very near, its peak.

In addition, some questioned our argument late last week about the need for more affordable housing across SEQld.

So this week, we will focus on this topic.

Today, let’s compare the current market (fiscal 2016/17) with the previous housing peak in 2009.

In 2009 there were 6.239 million people in the typical first home buyers’ market age group (20 to 39 year of age).  That year, some 188,000 home loans were granted to first home buyers.  Overall, 658,000 (including first home buyers) housing loans were approved – so, first home buyers accounted for 29% of the housing market back in 2009.

Fast forward to today.  There are 6.919 million people in the typical first home buyers’ market age group.  This year, just 89,500 home loans were granted to first home buyers.  Overall, some 654,000 (including first home buyers) housing loans were approved – so first home buyers’ market share has dropped to 14%.

In short, it has more than halved in the last seven years.

Wonderful.  Great job everyone!  Yep, nothing wrong with this scene.  Let’s report the latest stats, but don’t dig too deep.  Just move on.  Housing is affordable!  Too many are quick to question lifestyle and blame the price of crushed avos on toast.  Who really wants their kids to leave home anyway?

And for those who like to look beyond the gloss, take a gander at the table below.

Proportion of first home buyers

State/Territory 2008/09 2016/17
New South Wales 31% 8%
Victoria 30% 15%
Queensland 26% 17%
South Australia 24% 11%
Western Australia 30% 22%
Tasmania 24% 13%
Northern Territory 22% 17%
ACT 26% 15%
Australia 29% 14%

According to Confucius, “The strength of a nation is derived from the integrity of its homes.”  Or, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people,” said Abraham Lincoln.

Take your pick.

Until next time,

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Michael Matusik

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