First home buyer activity hits five-year high: ABS

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FIRST home buyer participation in the housing market has hit a five-year high following a series of concessions introduced by the NSW and Victorian governments.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed first time buyers accounted for 17.6 per cent of all owner occupier housing loans in October, the highest share of borrowing since November 2012.

The 10,061 home loans given to first home buyers nationally was also 37.8 per cent higher than at the same time over 2016.

Housing Industry Association economist Shane Garrett said state government interventions, such as NSW’s introduction of a stamp duty exemption for first time buyers of homes priced under $650,000, accounted for the first time buyer surge.

“Packages of support for first home buyers in several state budgets over the past year have been the catalyst for their much-improved participation in the housing market,” Mr Garrett said.

“Interventions by the NSW and Victoria governments have been particularly beneficial. We urge other states to give serious consideration to similar measures next year.”

The benefits would mean first home buyers could have an active 2018, Mr Garrett added.

“With the interest rate outlook looking much more favourable for 2018, the window of opportunity for first time buyers is now wider,” he said.

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