Help­ing hands in hard times

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH TILLEY REAL ES­TATE RE­PORTER

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

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