Buyers holding off on first home

MORE first homebuyers plan to purchase their first property later in life, according the 2012 Mortgage Choice Future First Homebuyer Survey.

This annual study of 1000 Australians who plan to buy their first home in the next two years found 41 per cent of first homebuyers will be aged 30-39 years, 39% will be 18-29 years of age, 14% will be 40-49 and six per cent will be aged over 50 years.

Hence, the number of first homebuyers aged 30 or more years has increased from 54% in the 2011 survey to 61%.

The 2012 survey findings also show that first homebuyers intend to save for an average of two years before purchasing their property, compared to 1.8 years when the survey was conducted in 2011.

The 2012 survey also revealed that these people are saving an average of 26% of their monthly after tax income.

Company spokesperson Belinda Williamson said, "it is interesting to see more first homebuyers are saving for longer and purchasing later in life, perhaps when they are in a better financial position, have researched their ideal location well and are keen to settle into a property they will call home for many years to come".

Fears over job security have rocketed over the past year with almost one in five (18%) up-coming first homebuyers claiming this is their greatest concern, compared to just 11% last year.

Conversely, fewer buyers are concerned about rising house prices (22% this year compared to 31% in 2011) and even fewer are concerned about the impact of interest rates on their ability to purchase their first home (8% this year compared to 14% in 2011).

"While many of the economic indicators such as rate cuts, lower house prices and improved affordability might suggest now is a good time to buy, people are still nervous about their ability to sustain employment," Ms Williamson said.

"Home ownership is still the dream for many Australians, however it is important to feel confident in your financial future before taking on the commitment of a property purchase."

The survey found that first homebuyers' property decisions are largely driven by lifestyle factors.

The greatest motivator for first time buyers was to set themselves up financially for the future by getting a foot in the property market door (57%) while almost half (49%) said they would like to purchase a property where they can raise their family.

The third largest motivation for first homebuyers was to avoid rising rent, which is making owning a property more attractive (42%).

Ms Williamson said, "the overall cost and financial benefits of home ownership are going to add weight to the decision but as our survey results show, the more emotional factors such as where you envisage bringing up your children is very high on the influencing stakes".

Topics:  first homebuyer market mortgage choice

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