Where are all Australia’s home buyers?

The median mortgage size in Australia hit a record high in November, while the proportion of first home buyers continues to decline.

According to figures published by AFG, the average mortgage processed in November was for $436,000 – an 8% increase on the $404,000 figure in May this year.
 
During this same period, the proportion of first home buyers has steadily declined from 13.6% of all mortgages processed in May to 10.3% in November – a decline of 24%.

New South Wales recorded the worst ever figure for first home buyers this month - just 2.8% - compared with 48.5% for investors.
 
First home buyers comprised 6.2% in QLD, 11.4% in VIC, 16% in SA and 20.2% in WA.
 
While WA has led the nation for first home buying activity over the past year, this 20% figure is still much lower than the 24.4% figure recorded six months ago in May 2013.
 
AFG general manager of sales Mark Hewitt has called on state governments to undertake “urgent action” to encourage first home buyers back into the market.

“In both Queensland and New South Wales the governments have withdrawn support for established housing. When that happens the market can continue for a little while but eventually if there are no first home buyers entering the market then there’s no one to buy homes from people wanting to upgrade.

“My immediate concern is for the governments of both those states to address that position and put some thought back into this issue such as is occurring in other states.”

Overall the market is robust, says Hewitt, but without new buyers coming into the market the current model is unsustainable.

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