Buy­ers live the dream

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - NI­COLE MAYNE

A SOFT­EN­ING prop­erty mar­ket has opened the door for Geelong first-home buy­ers to seize their chance and re­alise the great Aussie dream.

Young house hun­ters have been out in force since coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions eased in the re­gion, buoyed by gov­ern­ment in­cen­tives, low in­ter­est rates and re­duced in­vestor ac­tiv­ity.

Bel­mont plumber Blaise White was one of the first to take ad­van­tage of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s First Home Loan De­posit scheme, in­tro­duced this year.

Mr White said the loan through Bendigo Bank was in­stru­men­tal in help­ing him break into the prop­erty mar­ket af­ter years rent­ing with his brother and friends.

The scheme, which al­lows first-home buy­ers to pur­chase a home val­ued at up to $600,000 with as lit­tle as a 5 per cent de­posit through ap­proved lenders, also meant his par­ents didn’t have to be guar­an­tors.

He moved into his Bel­mont house in March af­ter miss­ing out on sev­eral others.

“I couldn’t have done it with­out the de­posit scheme,” Mr White said.

“It was the dif­fer­ence be­tween buy­ing right now and wait­ing an­other cou­ple of years to save the $20,000 to $30,000 ex­tra I would have needed to make the min­i­mum de­posit.

“It’s been great for not only me, it has made a big dif­fer­ence to my friends who get to live with me be­cause they don’t have to worry about in­spec­tions or that the lease could be up at any time.”

Bux­ton agent Tony Moor­foot said there were lots of first-home buy­ers look­ing at af­ford­able prop­er­ties across Geelong. But he said it was a dou­ble-edged sword as they of­ten ended up com­pet­ing against each other.

“There’s ob­vi­ously in­cen­tives and grants, so there has been lots of first-home buy­ers out and about for that rea­son,” he said. “It prob­a­bly just gives them a leg up when they are in com­pe­ti­tion against buy­ers that are cashed up.”

He said Geelong’s af­ford­abil­ity and value for money made it at­trac­tive.

Hayeswinck­le, East Geelong, agent Tif­fany Simp­son said she had re­cently sold a num­ber of prop­er­ties to firsthome buy­ers, with any­thing priced un­der $600,000 at­tract­ing their in­ter­est.

“I don’t think there is quite the in­vestor in­ter­est and that has al­lowed first-home buy­ers more op­por­tu­nity to get into the mar­ket,” she said. “Gov­ern­ment in­cen­tives are still on the ta­ble and it has pro­vided much more op­por­tu­nity.”

Pic­ture: PETER RISTEVSKI

OP­POR­TU­NITY: The home loan de­posit scheme helped Blaise White buy his first prop­erty in Bel­mont.

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