Historically low interest rates have failed to attract first home buyers, who now only make up 13% of all loans written, Symond said.
“This is a long term fundamental shift in the property market, where in many areas first home buyers have simply given up on what has been a long held tradition in Australia – getting started with a small house or an apartment in the suburbs," he said.
First home buyers simply can no longer compete against investors in many hot property pockets of most capital cities, preferring to invest in shares and rent in apartments nearer their workplaces or CBD’s.
“The Federal Government should look at creating tax incentives for first home buyers to save for a deposit, while more affordable new housing should be constructed to accommodate them," said Symonds.
He expects the low interest rate climate to remain in 2014, however advised property buyers and owners seeking certainty around their mortgage repayments that it may be a good time to fix rates – as they have started to edge higher and will continue to do so in 2014.
Housing should continue to be at its most affordable level in a decade, despite the recent rises in home prices, with the major factors behind the growth in affordability has been low interest rates and growth in wages.
“2014 will have its challenges for consumers and businesses but I believe better times are ahead as economic confidence improves in both Australia and overseas”.