Do we really care about first homebuyers?


Words by Maureen Jordan

The Local Agent Finder Real Estate Sentiment Report, done in August this year, found that the 1,000 Australians surveyed are extremely sympathetic to the plight of first homebuyers, with 71% believing that the government isn’t doing enough to help. More than half said they’d like to know the buyer of their property and two out of three displayed a willingness to offer a discount to genuine first buyers, with nearly one in four comfortable for that discount to be between 5-10%! Who would have guessed that? 

CEO of Local Agent Finder, Matt McCann said “…many people were well aware of the capital gains that they had achieved in recent years, and this was affecting their attitudes toward selling and first home buyers. 

“The survey results suggest that Australians who are looking to sell are looking to do so as soon as possible, so they’re likely well aware of the downturn in the market of late.”

“The prospect of rising interest rates may also be contributing to this view, with over half of respondents saying that they were ‘stressed’ by the prospect of rates increasing. 

“The same group seems extremely aware of the effect the property boom has had on first home buyers and wants action to keep the Australian dream alive.”

Other findings from the survey were:

1. 78% of respondents felt the government should do more to help retirees downsize.

2. 84% believed that the government isn’t doing enough to limit foreign investment into Australia’s property market.

3. A majority said they’d consider, or prefer, a private sale to an auction. Respondents over 55 years old were 400% more likely to prefer a private sale. 

4. 28% want the negative gearing system to remain as it is. 19% want negative gearing to be removed completely. 8% want negative gearing to be scaled back to new properties.

5. When it comes to advice around property advertising, sellers trust real estate agents more than family, friends, and property listing websites. However, while vendors typically pay property advertising costs in Australia, there may be upcoming pressure on agents to absorb these costs, with nearly half of respondents believing agents should pay for advertising. Two out of three sellers were unaware that they could ask the agent to cover advertising costs.

6. When sellers are choosing an agent, they ranked the agent’s track record as the most important factor, followed by the strength of the relationship with the agent, then the agent’s commission rate and customer testimonials. 

Interestingly, the latest statistics on home loans shows that the proportion of first homebuyers in the market is at a six-year high!

Meanwhile, investor housing finance rose 0.1% in August, with annual growth remaining at a record low of 1.5%.

So the trend is changing and maybe those surveyed need to change their sources of information. I’d recommend Switzer Daily, though I could be biased!

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