First- home buyer num­bers dou­ble

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - STEPHEN NI­CHOLLS

FIRST-home buyer num­bers across the state have more than dou­bled this year, en­cour­aged by the state govern­ment’s stamp duty sav­ings in­tro­duced last July.

There were 2246 first-home buyer loans is­sued in Fe­bru­ary com­pared with 1105 the pre­vi­ous Fe­bru­ary.

“We’re cer­tainly see­ing strong num­bers,” said My Hous­ing Mar­ket economist Dr An­drew Wil­son.

“First-home buy­ers are buy­ing units across Syd­ney and houses in Pen­rith and Camp­bell­town or the Cen­tral Coast.”

And agents, par­tic­u­larly in Syd­ney’s west, say the pace is ac­cel­er­at­ing.

“I’ve no­ticed a surge in the last 10 days or so — now they seem to be at ev­ery open home,” said McGrath agent Anna Younan, who sells apart­ments and houses from Cam­den to Camp­bell­town, the epi­cen­tre of the surge.

De­part­ment of Fi­nance fig­ures show Camp­bell­town, West­mead, Liver­pool, Par­ra­matta and Wer­ring­ton were the top five first-home buyer sub­urbs last month.

But first-timers in the east have also been in­spired to buy.

Dr Wil­son pointed to ABS fig­ures show­ing the av­er­age loan in Fe­bru­ary was $372,700. As­sum­ing the first-timers had a 20 per cent de­posit, most of them are look­ing at prop­er­ties priced at less than $500,000 — un­less par­ents were buy­ing for them.

He pro­vided data show­ing the west had 454 units — the most in Syd­ney — for sale un­der that fig­ure. But there were a fair share for sale in more ex­pen­sive mar­kets, too — 64 in the city and east, and 48 in the in­ner west. Only 16 are for sale on the lower north shore.

There are 203 houses for sale un­der $500,000 on the cen­tral coast, 91 houses in the west, and 49 in the south­west.

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