A majority of first- homebuyers are being priced out of buying in their desired suburbs, according to Mortgage Choice’s 2014 First Homebuyer Survey.

The 2014 survey canvassed more than 1000 future first-homebuyers across the nation who planned to buy a property in the next two years.

It showed that 57.5 per cent of first-homebuyers in WA would not be able to buy in their desired area, higher than the national result of 54.3 per cent.

Of those WA respondents who indicated they would not be able to buy where they wanted to, 87 per cent said it was because “the area was out of their price range”.

Acton director Travis Coleman said he had seen many first- homebuyers having to compromise on location, though he said it was not a new trend.

“Your first property is usually to get your foot in the door so to speak and then used to upgrade into other areas, ” he said.

“A lot (of first-homebuyers) choose to buy in more affordable suburbs near the area they would ideally like to buy in.

“For example, Maylands is more affordable than Mt Lawley but still close to the lifestyle attractions. They may also have to compromise on the type of property, such as rather than a house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and theatre, they may have to buy a townhouse or unit.”

Professionals Real Estate Group chief executive Shane Kempton said he was yet to see any evidence of first-homebuyers not being able to buy into their first choice suburb in WA.

“This trend is more prevalent in the Eastern States capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne where first-homebuyers have been frozen out of the property market by investors who had driven up property prices strongly over the past two years, ” Mr Kempton said.

“Property investor activity in Perth has been more subdued as have price growth rates in lower- price suburbs.”

Mr Kempton said most first- homebuyers wanted to own a house on a parcel of land rather than an apartment, so were often drawn to the house-and-land packages in the outer fringes of Perth as they suited the style of home they were after and budget.

Mortgage Choice spokeswoman Jessica Darnbrough said there was an increasing number of first- time buyers buying an investment home before buying owner- occupier properties.

According to a Mortgage Choice investor survey released this year, more than 20 per cent of investors said they bought an investment property before calling their own property home, she said.

Mr Coleman said this was a growing trend in WA. “Many people are buying their first home later in life and affordability isn’t the only factor, ” he said.

“In today’s market, people are finishing school, studying and travelling before establishing a career and looking for a home.

“In the meantime, they don’t want to miss the opportunity to enter the market and are buying affordable investments — they can earn income, negative gear, make use of capital growth, sell the property and buy their own home when the time is right, and rent in areas in which they prefer to live but might not be able to afford at the moment.”

Mr Kempton said the first- homebuyer investment trend was led by single FIFO workers who purchased to offset their high tax levels.


© The West Australian

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