Queensland property buyers return

Queensland property buyers return

An REIQ graph charts the rise and fall in numbers of Queensland first-home buyers over the past decade. VIEW THE GRAPH IN FULL Photo: Courtesy REIQ

After two years waiting on the proverbial sidelines, Queensland first home buyers have returned to the property market, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

Nearly 20 per cent of all owner-occupied dwellings financed in April this year were sold to first home buyers, according to figures derived from the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Graph: Queensland first home buyers

Of 8257 properties financed in April across the state, 1636 were purchased by first home buyers.

The figures show first home buyer activity is up more than 35 per cent since the same period last year, REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett said.

In April last year, first home buyers accounted for 16.7 per cent [1206 out of 7236 dwellings] of all properties financed.

REIQ said investors too were making a long-awaited return to the market with more than 4500 properties bought by investors in March this year.

The demand from first home buyers, as well as investors, has suggested the market is heading back to a more traditional buyer mix, Ms Bennett said.

She said the high interest rates and the removal of the state government-funded First Home Owners Boost in 2010 had kept many first home buyers out of the market.

First home buyer activity was at its lowest following the global financial crisis in June 2010.

Then, less than 1200 properties [13.7 per cent] of about 8600 sold across Queensland were purchased by first home buyers.

“There is little doubt that the First Home Owners Boost was a successful policy during the global financial crisis, which brought the buying decisions of many first home buyers forward, and helped to underpin our market during uncertain times,” Ms Bennett said.

“It has taken a few years for underlying demand from first-timers to strengthen once again and that is what we are now starting to see in the market.

‘‘Interest rates are now lower and they can also access the $7,000 First Home Owners Grant and stamp duty concessions of up to $15,000, which are all attractive propositions for first home buyers.”

The previous Labor government’s $140 million program offering a $10,000 grant to anyone buying a new home valued up to $600,000 from August 1, 2011 to April 30 this year, also buoyed first home buyer confidence.

First home buyer activity hit 20 per cent for the first time in two years last October, when 1607 properties were financed to first time purchasers.

Ms Bennet said property was also more affordable for first home buyers in Queensland.

The median house price for ‘‘Greater Brisbane’’, where first home buyer activity is generally the strongest, remains about $425,000 compared to $641,000 in Sydney and $535,000 in Melbourne.

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