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'The great Australian dream of home ownership is not fading away'

by Staff Reporter10 minute read
The Adviser

Concerns that younger Australians are being locked out of the housing market are misguided, according to John Kolenda.

Mr Kolenda, who is managing director of Finsure and 1300 Home Loan, said first-time buyers are investing where they can afford to.

As a result, warnings about an imbalance in the marketplace are misplaced, he said.

"The great Australian dream of home ownership is not fading away; it's just that the goalposts are changing," Mr Kolenda said.


"Australia... has traditionally been a bastion of home ownership, and Generation Y is still keen to enter the housing market despite a reported drop-off in their numbers in recent times," he said.

Mr Kolenda said first-time buyers keen to reap the benefits of market conditions are purchasing affordable investment properties.

"These Gen Ys enjoy the inner-city lifestyle and are happy to rent in those areas or live at home with their parents, but they also see the advantages of investing in property in suburbs where they can afford to buy," he said.

"Young buyers are also keen to pay down their loans as fast as possible while interest rates are low, to boost their equity and possibly upgrade to another property."

Mr Kolenda also noted a possible under-reporting of first home buyer numbers, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics relies on data from lenders whose buyers receive a first home buyer grant.

Mr Kolenda said he supports independent Senator Nick Xenophon's proposal to allow first home buyers to access their superannuation for a house deposit, although the proposal would probably need parameters such as restricting withdrawals to $25,000.

"Anything that can help first home buyers get into the market is a good thing, and this would also encourage people to save more by paying extra into their super funds," he said.

[Related: Lender urges govt to let new buyers use super]

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