First home buyers are out in force, but flying under the radar in a different category, according to the head of one lender.
Following The Adviser’s revelations last week that ABS statistics on first home buyer numbers were unreliable indicators, head of brand and marketing at RAMS Huw Bough said recent figures and surveys supported the news.
“The numbers and the commentary in mainstream media are really exaggerating the lack of first home buyers in the market,” Mr Bough said.
“Two thirds of enquiry into our home loan centres is coming from first time buyers, and that has been pretty consistent over the past few years.”
According to numerous industry sources, first home buyer numbers are gathered through the number of first home buyer concessions or grants given – not all first home buyers, however, receive the grants.
“We have a first home buyer survey we run, and the most recent one showed that 80 per cent of first time buyers aren’t looking to use first home owner grants at all,” said Mr Bough.
But Mr Bough believes the current property climate is bringing a new type of first time buyer to the top of the ladder.
“When first time buyers are coming into the market, we’re seeing them come onto the market as investors rather than owner occupiers. So first timers are looking to use the equity in their investment property to get into the first home further down the track,” he said.
“These types of investors are even less exposed to property than your typical owner-occupier who is looking to invest, so they must be treated with the appropriate care.”
However, according to top broker and managing director of House + Home Loans, Rael Bricker, first timers don’t require more care – just different care.
“I specialise in investment, and it’s interesting because the people who are buying their fifth property probably need just as much education as a first timer because the challenges you have when you have five is different,” he told The Adviser.
“It’s more about managing your properties and cash flows as opposed to the hurdles of becoming a landlord.”
According to Mr Bricker, education is the key to dealing with any investor – but especially a first timer.
“Brokers have to actually make the effort to educate people and accept that they may lose the client when they have all the information they need from you,” he said.
“But you should make the commitment of showing people how good you are. We have to give them more than their money’s worth to show how good we are.”