First home buyers Andrew Vo-Nguyen and Alice Lo pose at the Marrickville unit they rent. Picture: Tracey Nearmy
First home buyers have become a force to be reckoned with in some parts of Sydney with the double attraction of stamp duty savings and plummeting property prices continuing to lure them into the market.
New figures released this week show that although the number of home purchasers overall is down across the city, first timers now make up 10.2 per cent of all housing loans in NSW, up from 4.2 per cent last January.
“We’ve now got the highest proportion of first home buyers in the market since 2012,” says Dr Andrew Wilson, chief economist at My Housing Market.
First home buyers in Campbelltown in Sydney’s south west have claimed almost $1 million worth of state government incentives in the past 12 months.
While just 10 have benefited from First Home Owner grant, which only applies to new homes, 46 have claimed the stamp duty exemption that applies to all property priced under $650,000, according to latest official data from the Office of State Revenue.
Campbelltown agent Zac Cronin says first home buyers are now the dominant force, with investors disappearing.
“It’s a great time for first home buyers with lots to choose from, at a great price point and interest rates remaining low.”
As is the case across the Sydney market, first home buyers are now taking their time, knowing they’re in the box seat.
First home buyers Andrew Vo-Nguyen and Alice Lo are in no rush to buy. Picture: Tracey Nearmy
Although the discounts on stamp duty discounts cut out for property priced above $800,000, agents report a spike in activity from first home buyers because of lack of competition from investors and falling prices.
Many inner city buyers still Andrew Vo-Nguyen, 29, who works in IT, with his partner, Alice Lo, 34, a graphic designer, recently missed out on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom Marrickville apartment with parking that ended up selling for $862,000, $72,000 above reserve.
All five who registered at McGrath agent Adrian Tsavalas’s auction had been first timers and Ms Lo had been the underbidder.
The apartment at 11/384 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville, that the couple missed out on
But the couple aren’t that worried about missing out on that one, or another that they’ve recently had an offer rejected on.
“The owners want too much money for it and we just said no,” Vo-Nguyen said.
“There’s plenty to choose from and we’re definitely not in a rush — we feel like we have a lot of power in our hands, that’s for sure.”
The buyer of the Marrickville unit, management consultant Nabil Alizai, thinks he got it for a great price. “It really stacked up — I was really surprised at the low reserve,” he said.
Some first home buyers are sitting back waiting for property prices to fall further, as has been predicted.
Ryan Georges, with his partner, Vanessa Gianpietro, bought a Lane Cove apartment last Saturday
However, Ryan Georges, 26, a safety and compliance co-ordinator with an energy company, who bought a Lane Cove two-bedroom apartment with a garage and city views for $745,000 at auction last Saturday, thinks homehunters should still be out looking for an opportunity.
“There are some great deals around,” he said. “It’s gone from Fear of Missing Out to Fear of Not Getting Out — ie the fear of investors not getting out in time.”
Although the deceased estate he bought attracted 12 registered bidders to Raine & Horne Lane Cove’s Rebecca Mitchell’s auction and it sold for $135,000 above reserve, Mr Georges was happy.
“An apartment in the same building — although renovated — went for $930,000 in June and didn’t have the view,” he said.
22/210 Longueville Rd, Lane Cove, purchased by Mr Georges, has city views
“I think that with a bit of effort and elbow grease, the capital gain can be significant.
“Being young a person, I don’t mind taking the time to do a few little things like painting and recarpeting.
And I’m planning on holding onto it for five years, so I’m not going to be affected if there are more price falls over the next 12 months.”
Mr Georges, who is participating in Movember to promote men’s health after his father’s suicide last year, said he’d been able to save for the deposit himself since his aunt had allowed him to live rent-free at her Terrey Hills home.
“I’ve got a pretty good job and lucky to have been living with family – my aunty, who wanted me to be able to buy my own place.
“My grandfather also helped him out with some of the deposit.”