First home buy­ers num­bers fall

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

FIRST-HOME buyer num­bers have fallen to their low­est lev­els in nearly a decade as low in­ter­est rates have failed to en­tice them.

The pro­por­tion of loans writ­ten for first-home buy­ers fell to just 14.2 per cent in March, down from 14.4 per cent in Fe­bru­ary and is the low­est level since May 2004, Bureau of Statis­tics fig­ures show. Com­par­i­son web­site RateCity spokes­woman Michelle Hutchison says low in­ter­est rates have not had the ex­pected im­pact of draw­ing first- time buy­ers. ‘‘ First- home buy­ers are re­ally find­ing it more dif­fi­cult to af­ford mak­ing that en­try into the prop­erty mar­ket,’’ she said. ‘‘ Loan sizes haven’t in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly and in­ter­est rates have fallen, so it is more af­ford­able to main­tain a mort­gage but there’s been a bar­rier for firsthome buy­ers.’’

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