Debt, employment worries hold back potential homebuyers

By Robin Christie | 23 May 2012

Are worries about job security and taking on a large debt holding you back from making your next property purchase? You may not be alone.

According to new research, almost 70% of potential first homebuyers are holding back from entering the property market due to the dual fears of servicing higher debts and future job redundancies.

These are the findings of the latest CBA/Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) Home Finance Index.

In better news, however, the survey of 1,447 people found that Australian households are at their highest levels of financial confidence since May 2011, with 51.7% of respondents believing that now is a good time to buy a new home – up from 36.1% six months ago.

The survey also noted that fewer respondents feel financially worse off than they did six months ago (31.5% vs 38.8%).

According to the report, optimism is being dragged up by flat property prices and lower interest rates – which are creating buyer’s market conditions. Meanwhile, increasing rents are leading more than two-thirds (65.4%) of potential first homebuyers to reconsider the trade-off between renting and buying.

"While the cost of living pressures and employment uncertainty are placing a strain on some households, these concerns are balanced by positive factors such as lower house prices and interest rate cuts,” said MFAA CEO Phil Naylor.

Is now the time to buy? Have your say by commenting below or joining the debate in our property investment forum.

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