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CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

First time nerves

First homebuyer fade

Over the year to February 2017 there were 88,248 first homebuyer commitments, down by 2 per cent from 90,290 a year ago. 

When the first homeowner grants were rolled out during the financial crisis stimulus total annual first homeowner commitments peaked a rip-snorting 190,023 in November 2009. 

Since the normalisation by the end of Q1 2013 there has been a steady decline in the first homebuyer numbers. 


First homebuyer volumes have eased for different reasons in Sydney (affordability, and in turn a switch to investment properties) and Perth (economic and property market downturn), with the numbers relatively flat elsewhere. 


Smoothing the original data on a rolling annual basis, the average first homebuyer loan size over the year to February 2017 was flat in New South Wales at $365,900. 

There were increases in average loan size in Queensland (up 6 per cent to $315,000) and Tasmania (up 7 per cent to $238,600).

And there was a decrease in the average first homebuyer loan size over the year to February 2017 in Western Australia, down by 6 per cent to $317,700. 


Aggregating all of the ABS first homebuyer loan figures nationally, the average loan size has decreased moderately over the past year.

This also mirrors a similar recent decline in all loan sizes, including for non-first homebuyers.

Overall, this hints that annual dwelling price growth may prove be a little less sprightly than reported on CoreLogic's price index, and more in line with the numbers presented by the ABS, Residex, and SQM Research, while acknowledging the different methodologies and wide regional variations.

The wrap

Overall there has been a steady decrease in the number of first homebuyers since 2013.

That said the NAB survey and several other data sources have suggested that many first time buyers are buying investment properties instead, thereby leaving the total number of first time buyers more or less unchanged.