Buyers live the dream
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.”
OPPORTUNITY: The home loan deposit scheme helped Blaise White buy his first property in Belmont.