First home buyers frozen out

Adam Smith 27 May 2016

ice houseCompetition from upgraders and investors is freezing first home buyers out of the market, new research has suggested.

New figures from CoreLogic show home values in Sydney and Melbourne have substantially outpaced wage growth over the past eight years. The figures show house prices in Sydney have climbed 80.2% from December 2008 to April 2016, and have risen 67.8% in Melbourne over the same period. In contrast, wage growth in New South Wales and Victoria increased by only 23% and 23.6%, respectively.

Combined capital city house prices rose 51.7% over the period, while wages grew 23.4% and the cumulative change in inflation was 17.1%.

Along with the increase in house prices, lending to investors and upgraders saw substantial rises in NSW and Victoria from December 2008 to March 2016, while lending to first home buyers fell. As such, CoreLogic researcher Cameron Kusher said first home buyers face a difficult market competing with investors and upgraders whose homes have gained significant value.

“Those that do not yet own a property will struggle to compete with investors and upgraders who have been active in the market and where significant equity has been acquired,” Kusher said.

Kusher suggested that first home buyers in Sydney and Melbourne would have to look outside the cities, though he conceded the suggestion “may seem a little simplistic” as it could require the sacrifice of infrastructure and job opportunities.

While Kusher said first home buyers faced difficult challenges, he warned against more grants to aid buyers, “as they have tended to just push up the cost of housing”.

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