First-Time Homebuyer Activity Expected to Recover

Data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that loans to Australian owner-occupiers rose to 8,573 in June 2017, the highest increase since October 2014. The growth was attributed to a surge in activity in Queensland.

Of the total owner-occupier loans released in July 2017, 15% was for first-time buyers, continuing to pick up from a record low of 12.9% posted in March 2016.

The share of owner-occupier loans was the biggest from February 2015.

By State
The largest number of first-home loan approvals was posted in Victoria at 2,367, but the number was a drop from the 2,431 recorded in June.

New loans in Queensland rose to 2,257, the biggest monthly total from October 2009 and which was the driver of the growth in in the national figure. On June 30, a provisional lift to the state’s first-home buyers grant to $20,000 ended, seeing it cut to $15,000. That probably drove some demand prior to the expiration of that increase.

Here at home in New South Wales, and also in Western Australia, loans dropped from the levels posted in June, while they rose in South Australia.

New Stamp Duty Concessions
It is expected that first-home buyer activity will continue to recover in the months after the launch of new stamp duty concessions in New South Wales and Victoria, considering data from Queensland in June, together with the national growth in the first-home buyer activity during the world financial crunch in response to increased grants. This response caused the share of new owner-occupier loans issued to first-home buyers to temporarily increase to more than 30%.

In New South Wales, stamp duty has been removed for first-home buyers on current and new homes valued at up to $650,000, with stamp duty cuts given to properties worth up to $800,000.

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