First-home buyers Cameron and Casey Howland. Picture: Alison Wynd
MILLENNIALS are the generation best prepared to break into the property market despite facing a higher cost to buy their first home than their predecessors.
That’s because they can put their fingers on an arsenal of information about getting onto the property market on their phones, a Geelong home lender said.
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But a Geelong pilot program coaching first-time buyers on saving and setting realistic property goals showed there still were knowledge gaps.
The ANZ program which pairs first-time buyers with a savings coach in a 40-minute session to build a realistic savings plan around their income and expenditure is being rolled out nationally.
Waurn Ponds first-home savers coach Amanda Havard said young buyers, aged 20 to 28, were better prepared due to the explosion of online calculators and reality television programs about buying and renovating property.
36 Dublin Drive, Grovedale, is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house that goes to auction on Saturday at 11.30am. Price hopes are $400,000 to $440,000.
68 Kidman Ave, Belmont is a three-bedroom, two bathroom house that goes to auction on Saturday at noon. Price hopes are $435,000 to $475,000.
“Millennials are particularly savvy — they’re electronically savvy,” she said.
“They know where they can get information and have a lot of resources available to them, so they have really informed questions,” she said.
“On the other hand we do have the people that come in and don’t know very much at all and are at the very first step of looking at purchasing a home.
“People for the most part are very realistic and a pretty good percentage of customers that I see have already had a look at how much they can afford online.”
Many first-home buyers are looking to build in Geelong’s new housing estates.
State Revenue Office data shows almost 700 people were handed the $20,000 first-home owner grant in the region in the first nine months of 2018.
124 Wilsons Rd, Newcomb is a three-bedroom house that goes to auction on Saturday at 1.30pm. Price hopes are $440,000 to $480,000.
First-home buyers are choosing smaller blocks in estates like Armstrong at Mt Duneed, where new infrastructure like schools are under construction.
Armstrong Creek, Charlemont and Mt Duneed is the most popular area, with 274, while other hot spots include Torquay; Lara; Curlewis, Clifton Springs and Drysdale; Highton and Ocean Grove.
Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe said first-time buyers made up 30 to 40 per cent of purchasers at the Armstrong and Sanctuary estates in Geelong’s south.
But recent price rises were making life harder, he said.
Mr Costelloe said first-time buyers chased smaller blocks, where they could build a new house for a similar cost of a renovator in an existing suburb.
He said developers designed products for first-home buyers, like 350sq m blocks where they could build a 20-square house on the land for $430,000, or spend about $480,000 to build a bigger house on a 400sq m package.
The same price range sent buyers to second-ring suburbs like Newcomb, Grovedale and Bell Park.
McGrath, Geelong agent David McGuinness said one of the benefits of buying in these suburbs is they were experiencing good capital growth, close to 30 per cent in 12 months in Newcomb.
“The fact there is good capital growth is a factor but it’s also where they want to be for the lifestyle — it’s close to shops and schools and it’s close to town,” he said.
Mr McGuinness said buyers are happy to buy properties, wait 12 months or so while get ahead on repayments and make cosmetic changes.
ANZ Waurn Ponds assistant manager Amanda Havard with first-home buyers Cameron and Casey Howland. Picture: Alison Wynd
A FEW surprises were in store for first-home buyers Casey and Cameron Howland when they decided to build their first home at Ocean Grove.
The couple, who have a six-week old daughter Mia, have lived in their house at Oakdene Estate for a year after working hard to achieve their dream.
“I worked three jobs, so that helped and Mandy helped a fair bit,” Ms Howland said.
“We didn’t realise we needed a lot more money and the extra costs like conveyancers — we didn’t realise it was even a thing.”
The couple also discovered there were other costs, like fences and the driveway, while they also had to rent while Boutique Homes built their house.
But setting a savings plan has helped manage the mortgage repayments.
“We’ve still be able to on holidays and have a baby,” she said.
FIRST-HOME BUYER SUBURBS
Median house price
Capital growth (12 months)
Bell Post Hill
St Albans Park