First Home Buyers Surge To Eight-year High As Investors Retreat

09th Feb 2018

FIRST home buyers have surged to an eight-year high - making up a quarter of owner occupier borrowing in some states and one-in-five in others.

Latest housing finance figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today confirmed first timers had surged as investors retreated across the country - and the figures are likely to improve further given a favourable interest rate outlook.

The December figures showed that the FHB share of owner occupier home loans was led by Western Australia (24.5 per cent), then Northern Territory (24.1 per cent) and ACT (20.6 per cent).

Of the big three eastern states, Queensland led the data (20.3 per cent), followed by Victoria (19.1 per cent) and New South Wales (14.3 per cent). Tasmania (13.6 per cent) and South Australia had the lowest FHB splits (13.1 per cent).

Housing Industry Assocation principal economist Tim Reardon said “first home buyer lending in the final quarter of 2017 reached the highest level since the December quarter of 2009”.

“First Home Buyer participation in the housing market surged higher in 2017 to 18 per cent of owner occupier housing loans (nationally). A total of 104,000 housing loans were made to first home buyers during 2017 compared with 88,800 in 2016.”

He said support packages across several states were the catalyst for the rise, with Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria all holding attractive FHB packages and other states having other intervention measures also in place.

The figures showed investor borrowing retreated by $1.4b in 2017 - a fall of 10.5 per cent - and a situation that analysts believed was likely to become long term.