Helping hands in hard times
THE number of homes for sale in some of Queensland’s entry-level markets has surged this spring selling season, as first-home buyers and investors emerge from hibernation to hunt for bargains.
Real estate agents are reporting a 50 per cent jump in the number of homes hitting the market in the outer northern suburbs of Burpengary, Morayfield and North Lakes since the start of August.
And new figures from property research firm CoreLogic reveal new listings are up 11.9 per cent in Brisbane over the month and 2.8 per cent higher than they were last spring selling season.
Unit listings have skyrocketed nearly 90 per cent in Fairfield and almost 60 per cent in Strathpine in the past 12 months, while there are at least 30 per cent more houses on the market in Middle Park than there were a year ago.
Raine & Horne Queensland general manager Steve Worrad said there was strong demand for housing in entrylevel markets, driven by firsthome buyers and investors, who were being lured by their affordability compared with Sydney and Melbourne.
It comes as the number of loans approved to first-home buyers nationally hits its highest level since the end of the global financial crisis.
Reserve Bank of Australia data reveals the proportion of first homeowner loans has risen to 18.5 per cent this year from a low of 12.9 per cent two years ago.
Figures from home builder Porter Davis and realestate.com.au reveal 46 per cent of would-be buyers in the Queensland market are currently looking to purchase their first home.
Raine & Horne Burpengary, North Lakes and Morayfield principal Gina Wells said entry-level fourbedroom properties in Bur- pengary were selling for $420,000, while homes in North Lakes started from $550,000.
In Morayfield, entry-level properties were available from m $330,000.
“At the same time, buyer numbers are holding up, although, with increased listings, owners must price their homes sensibly to achieve a timely sale,” Ms Wells said.
“First-home buyers prefer suburbs such as Burpengary and North Lakes as they are only 40 minutes by rail or road from the Brisbane CBD, and this is coupled with the region’s affordability.” Ms Wells said investors made up about 30 per cent of buyers in the entry-level markets because they appreciated the region’s affordability, infrastructure and historically low vacancy rates. “We’ve had an excellent September and we expect the property markets in this region to motor along well into December thanks to a decent level of homes for sale and consistent buyer numbers, which include plenty of Sydney investors chasing the strong yields this region offers,” she said.
Nicole Taylor, 21, and her partner, Billy Mawson-Perini, 20, have just bought their first home in Burpengary.
“We started looking around Rothwell and North Lakes and actually left Burpengary to the last minute, but when we saw this place, we loved it straight away,” Ms Taylor said.
On the southside, agents say Mount Gravatt East and Holland Park are proving hot spots for first home buyers, even though median house prices are higher.
FIRST HOME: Shaji and Sreeja Shaji with daughter Mridula at their Regents Park home; and (inset) Burpengary buyers Nicole Taylor and Billy Mawson-Perini. Picture: Mark Cranitch