Buyers pick up home bargains
BARGAINS are ripe for the picking on the Ipswich real estate scene and first-home buyers are taking advantage of the low prices to grab their share of the market.
With the market slowing in recent times the chances are a house bearing a sold sign on its front lawn has been snapped up by a first-home buyer.
The Office of State Revenue (OSR) approved 232 First Home Buyer grants for the March quarter, a number which has steadily risen from the same time last year.
In 2011 the OSR permitted 777 First Home Buyer grants within Ipswich.
The rise in first-home buyers coincided with the median house price for Ipswich dropping 4.4% to $300,000 from 12 months ago.
Among the raft of first-home buyers in Ipswich are Alicia Finch and her partner Joseph Lopez, who bought their West Ipswich abode this month.
Initially the couple had no plans to buy, but after some investigations realised owning a home was not beyond their reach.
The pair were living in Alice Springs, but moved after learning they would soon be welcoming their son Frankie.
"We weren't seriously looking. There was another place we actually had put an offer in. I've always had an interest in this area," Alicia said.
"We are a one-wage family, that's why we didn't think we could get into the market. We asked what the asking price was and it is actually less than the rent we were paying.
"It was nerve-racking, only because we have an older house and there is a lot of work to be done. But it is exciting to be able to put our touch on an older house."
REIQ Ipswich zone chairman Darren Boettcher said the opportunity for first-home buyers to get into the market would continue during the coming months.
"First-home buyers are looking for homes under $300,000 and they have so many to pick from. It's all price-sensitive. The seller that wants to meet the market is going to sell their house," he said.
Mr Boettcher said historically property prices were cyclical.
What is a buyer's market now was a seller's market a decade ago.
"Before the market took off in 2003 the average price was $100,000. It has steadily taken off, but I think the prices are going to fall a bit more," Mr Boettcher said.
- Chuwar has the highest median house price in Ipswich at $485,000.
- Bundamba has the cheapest homes in Ipswich, with a median price of $253,000.
- Augustine Heights recorded the biggest drop in median house price, down 18.8% from $545,000 to $445,000 in 12 months.