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New state of mind: 13% of first home buyers considering purchasing interstate

Business with customer after contract signature of buying house

The housing affordability crisis has pushed a number of first home buyers to consider a move interstate, according to new research by Finder.

According to Finder's First Home Buyer Report 2022, which surveyed 1,001 first home buyers in Australia, 1 in 8 first home buyers (13%) are searching for their home interstate as well as, or in place of, their own state.

In addition, the report found that 1 in 4 (25%) first home buyers are searching for a property in a different region of their own state.

Richard Whitten, home loans expert at Finder, said rising property prices had made home ownership increasingly difficult.

"This is particularly the case in larger capital cities where demand is so high.

"Buyers who are open to relocating can benefit from lower prices in regional areas or smaller cities.

"I moved from Sydney to Melbourne, partly because of property prices. When you re-examine your property budget in a different market, you suddenly have a lot more options.

"If you do choose to move interstate, just be aware that things like stamp duty and first home buyer concessions vary by state."

Across the 8 capital cities, houses have risen by an average of 19% over the past year and units by 12%.

Over the 3 months to March, housing values across the combined rest-of-state regions increased by 5.1% – more than 3 times the speed of housing values across the combined capital cities (1.5%).

In the 12 months to June 2021, the combined capital cities' population declined for the first time on record, falling by 0.1%. Melbourne had the largest net loss of 61,000 people.

At the same time, regional areas had a net gain of 49,000 people.

"This regional price growth reflects heightened demand through 2020-21 as many city-dwellers took on sea and tree changes.

"We'll likely soon see a market correction as increased movement from overseas further boosts demand in the cities," Whitten said.

South Australians (17%) are the most likely to be searching interstate, followed by those from New South Wales (14%). In comparison, just 6% of Western Australians are looking beyond their state's borders.

When it comes to searching in a different region of the same state, Queenslanders (26%) and Victorians (26%) are the most likely to do so, while Western Australians are again most likely to stay put (20%).

Whitten said you don't need to leave home just to afford a property.

"Try looking in a different suburb of your city – often if you look beyond the high-demand suburbs, there are similar but more affordable areas nearby."

Looking for a better home loan deal? Check out some of Finder's top home loan picks.

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