Navigating COVID-19: Why now might just be the perfect time for first home buyers
“How will the coronavirus affect the property market” is one of the most Googled phrases in Australia since the beginning of 2020, and it’s clearly a topic of interest among many prospective home purchasers.
While at the moment there is no clear-cut answer to this question, the media are reiterating the message that those with stable jobs should consider commencing their house hunt sooner rather than later. Given the current climate, why are the experts proposing now as a good time to buy?
Toward the tail-end of 2019 the housing market in Australia has been on the mend; a recovery which saw prices begin to climb back up at an unprecedented rate. In fact, record growth was predicted for the market in 2020, and housing prices across capital cities were forecast to surge by up to 8%. Although it doesn’t sound like much, this sort of increase would see Melbourne’s median house price reach around $970,000 by the end of the year (yikes!), and even hit the $1 million mark by the second half of 2021 (Source: The Urban Developer).
o, why is this relevant? A fast-paced market is a first home buyer nightmare. Prices continue to climb steadily and competition between purchasers ramps up, which can leave prospective young home buyers feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and like they’ve missed the mark. Those shopping around for a home in the early months of 2020 may have found the final sale price of homes coming in significantly higher than the advertised range which, when experienced repeatedly, becomes extremely disheartening.
In an article from Realestate.com.au, they list their top reasons why the market is turning back in first home buyer’s favour. This includes factors like less investor interest (this group is usually hot competition for first-home-buyer-fit properties!), rock-bottom interest rates, increased flexibility from lenders for first-time borrowers, and continued Government assistance such as the First Home Owners Grant.
One positive for first home buyers in the current climate is the increase in digital capabilities from builders — meaning deciding on a new home has never been so easy. An abundance of free content is being released such as interactive virtual tours, online info sessions, live chat, and online deposits, meaning young home buyers are truly in their element with a hassle-free digital experience. The construction industry has really adapted to the needs of the current consumer, delivering innovative options to buy and more importantly, a tonne of free educational resources for those still on the fence.
While it is certainly a challenging time for society as a whole, those with financial security and keen on getting their foot on the property ladder should consider striking while the iron’s hot. As always, do your due diligence and weigh up your personal circumstances before making any major decisions, but keep in mind that now just might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
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