First home buyers have continued their surge into the home loan space, with their market share increasing to its highest level since 2012, according to an analysis of new ABS data.
The latest Housing Finance data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that, in seasonally adjusted terms, first home buyer (FHB) market share has increased to 18.3 per cent of the mortgage market in November 2018, up 0.2 per cent from the previous month.
According to a RateCity.com.au analysis of the data, FHB market share is at its highest point since October 2012.
RateCity research director Sally Tindall said that FHBs are asserting their presence in the housing market amid falling dwelling values.
“Many first home buyers have been biding their time, squirreling away savings and waiting for the opportunity to strike,” she said.
“There’s finally space in the market for them to find their feet without having to go head-to-head with experienced investors.”
Ms Tindall added that banks have opened their doors to FHBs despite reducing their appetite for other segments of the mortgage market.
“While the banks still have serviceability requirements on a tight leash, they’re welcoming first home buyers in the door, provided they’ve got a decent deposit and have a proven track record of frugal spending,” Ms Tindall said.
However, despite the growth in FHB market share, the ABS data reported that overall, the value of housing finance commitments declined by 2.5 per cent, driven by a 4.5 per cent decline in investor lending and a 1.4 per cent slump in owner-occupied lending.
According to an analysis by ANZ Research, the decline in the value of housing commitments is set to continue throughout 2019.
“The total value of finance is now down 16 per cent over the past year and will likely keep falling as credit conditions remain tight,” the research group said.
“A sustained improvement in housing finance would be an early indicator of a stabilisation in the housing market.”
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