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Despite the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of first-home buyers looking to buy a home in Perth has more than doubled, according to new research from Westpac.
Westpac found that the number of first-home buyers looking to enter the market in the next five years has spiked to 16%, up from just 7% prior to the pandemic, Perth Now reported.
Forty-nine per cent of Western Australians felt more optimistic about entering the housing market than they did a year ago, according to Perth Now. Thirty-seven per cent said that not wanting to pay rent anymore was the major driver behind their desire to buy a first home. House prices (19%), low interest rates (17%), and the opportunity to live in a new area (17%) were also drivers, Perth Now reported.
Westpac’s research also pointed to first-home buyers’ preferred locations. For those wanting to buy in Perth, northern suburbs within 10km of the city centre, such as Dianella and Nollamara, were most popular, according to Perth Now. Perth CBD and inner-city areas and eastern suburbs followed.
Lifestyle and proximity to a CBD were key drivers for most popular locations for first-home buyers across Australia, Perth Now reported.
“While we’re seeing an increasing interest in properties that offer more space, there’s still a strong desire from first-home buyers to live somewhere that’s still only about 20-30 minutes away from the CBD,” Westpac managing director of mortgages Anthony Hughes told Perth Now. “With a younger generation of buyers emerging, many are also weighing up areas that would enable them to maintain a certain lifestyle, like Sydney’s Inner West, which is in close proximity to social hubs and nightlife, while also catering to changing needs like the ability to work from home more.”
Westpac’s research found that young Australians increasingly desired the independence and stability of homeownership, Perth Now reported.
“It’s encouraging that so many Australians are thinking about homeownership despite some of the challenges brought about by he pandemic,” Hughes said. “It’s also interesting to see this is now largely being driven by Gen-Z, who after being cooped up at home during restrictions are now ready to leave their housemates or parents behind for a place of their own – many of whom might not have considered this a possibility prior to COVID-19. Even though younger generations have been some of the most financially impacted this year, it’s positive that many have really used this time to take stock of their finances and get serious about their long-term goals.”