Millennials driving new-found optimism in housing market
A NEW wave of optimism has hit the housing market, with Aussies singling out 2018 as the year they’ll finally chase down their dreams of property ownership — and Millennials are leading the charge.
A national poll has revealed two in five people believe it is a good time to buy a home amid rock bottom interest rates, less competition from foreign buyers and a national cooling in house prices.
Nearly a third of those surveyed plan to buy property this year, whether upsizing, investing, moving to a new area or buying their first home, according to the YouGov Galaxy Poll commissioned by Realestate.com.au.
Millennials have driven much of the new-found optimism, with more than half of those born between 1983 and 2000 planning to pull the trigger on a home purchase.
Realestate.com.au head of home loans Andrew Russell said the increased optimism was the result of a shift to more stable price movements amid a low interest rate environment.
“With a lot of the recent commentary talking about a slowdown, some buyers may be looking at the market and thinking it will be a good time to buy,” Mr Russell said.
Activity on Realestate.com.au’s home loan platforms showed confidence was at a high among one group in particular, he added.
“Excitement is coming from all categories of buyers, but especially first homebuyers,” Mr Russell said.
“It shows that the dream of home ownership has continued to grow and first homebuyers are more confident they can achieve that dream than perhaps they were in years past.”
Canstar financial services expert Steve Mickenbecker said some homebuyers may had spotted a rare gap in the market.
“Rates are at rock bottom, are likely to stay low for some time and prices are down in some areas so you’ve got a lot of people saying ‘now’s our chance’,” Mr Mickenbecker said.
“Investor participation is down too and there are less foreign buyers in the market so some (house hunters) may feel there’s more space for them.”
Brisbane couple Matt Brandon, 31, and Alice Tidmarsh, 27, have just bought their first home together and are feeling positive about their decision.
“With interest rates low and the first homeowners grant still available, I think it’s a great time to get in to the market,” Mr Brandon said.
The Millennials have purchased a new townhouse in a residential development in Cannon Hill and will be paying only $25 more a week than they currently are renting.
“Our plan was to buy something new and live in it for one to two years,” Mr Brandon said.
“We would like to build a portfolio in the future.
“This isn’t going to be our last home — it’s a stepping stone.”
Aaron Woolard of Place Estate Agents said about 80 per cent of his clients were Millennials renting in the trendy, Brisbane inner-city suburbs of New Farm and Teneriffe, who were now looking to buy there.
Mr Woolard said Millennials were willing to spend up to $1 million to get into those suburbs, even if it meant taking on a bigger mortgage.
“Most people I talk to want to get into the market and invest wisely,” he said.
“They have drive and ambition to reach their goals, and one of those is property.”
Mr Woolard said he had also noticed an increase in the number of young people wanting to take advantage of the extension of the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant to June 30 this year.
The research surveyed more than 1000 people across the country under age, gender and regional quotas reflecting ABS demographics estimates.
The survey also included a mix of renters, adult children living with their parents, mortgagees and those who owned their properties outright.
With less barriers to potentially shut buyers out of the market, those with property ambitions said lofty prices would likely be their biggest obstacle.
More than half of respondents (53 per cent) said high prices would be the factor most likely to derail their property goals for the year, followed by not being able to borrow as much as they would like (30 per cent).
To combat those challenges, 84 per cent of Australians were prepared to make sacrifices to get into the market.
That percentage rose to 94 per cent for Millennials, who were more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen Y buyers to forgo luxuries such as a new car, overseas travel and new clothes, among others.
“Young people are determined to get into the housing market,” Mr Russell said. “They realise how much a home loan will impact their lives and they’re willing to make sacrifices.”