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Home buying intentions at all-time high: NAB

by Malavika Santhebennur11 minute read
Home buying intentions at all-time high: NAB

The major bank said more Australians have said that they intend to buy a new home in 2021, while it has seen record FHB demand.

Data from National Australia Bank (NAB) has revealed that despite house price growth and expectations for this to continue, the number of Australians who said that they intend to buy a home in the next 12 months increased to 15 per cent in the first quarter of 2021.

This is up from 13 per cent in Q4 2020, the survey of 2,000 respondents by NAB Economics showed.

NAB executive, home ownership, Andy Kerr said the appetite for Australians looking to buy a new home was at an all-time high.


Furthermore, the number of Australians who said that they intend to buy an investment property in the next 12 months also increased to 9 per cent in Q1 2021 (up from 8 per cent in Q4 2020).

According to Mr Kerr, the major bank has also seen record demand from first home buyers (FHBs), with NAB lending increasing by 67 per cent compared with 2020.

The survey also showed that younger Australians were the most aspirational in relation to buying property, with 39 per cent in the 18-29 age group saving to buy, while 26 per cent are renting while saving to buy property.

Almost one in five (18 per cent) Australians is saving to buy a home, while 14 per cent are currently renting but saving to buy property.

Across Australia, 40 per cent of the survey respondents said now is a good time to buy property, down from 45 per cent in Q4 2020.

Across the states and territories, those living in South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT (44 per cent) were the most optimistic about buying a home now, while Tasmania was the least positive (36 per cent), and 40 per cent of NSW respondents and 38 per cent of Victorian respondents said now is a good time to buy property.

However, Tasmania was the most optimistic when asked whether now is a good time to buy investment property (40 per cent), followed by Western Australia (35 per cent), South Australia (34 per cent), NSW (30 per cent), ACT (29 per cent) and Victoria (26 per cent).

Intentions to buy property in the next 12 months is the highest in the ACT (22 per cent), followed by South Australia (18 per cent), NSW (17 per cent), Victoria (16 per cent) and Queensland (13 per cent), while those in Western Australia and Tasmania (11 per cent) were least positive.

Over the next 12 months, 13 per cent of South Australians intend to buy an investment property, while figure dropped to 10 per cent in NSW and the ACT, 9 per cent in Victoria and Queensland, 7 per cent in Western Australia, and only 3 per cent in Tasmania.

Commenting on the figures, Mr Kerr said: “Young Australians are the most aspirational home buyers right now, and we’re seeing this with 25 per cent of applications now done via video, with thousands more booked online every month.

“The health and financial shock of the pandemic drove a decline in investor interest last year. This year we have seen the return of investors as economic conditions have improved.”

NAB recently cut some investor home loan rates by 30 bps as investors return to the housing market.

Figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) showed that investor lending by authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI) grew by $2.1 billion (0.3 per cent) in April, and $1.6 billion (0.2 per cent) in March.

However, the rate of growth slowed to 0.1 per cent (or $900 million) in May.

Mr Kerr added: “We also know price is just one factor when getting a home loan and continue to simplify and improve the home lending experience for all our customers.

“This includes faster decision making, with a number of steps taken to simplify and speed up the time it takes for approval. Fifty per cent of the loans through our Simple Home Loans process are now receiving unconditional approvals within a day, giving customers the confidence to act quickly in the market.”

[Related: Home buying intentions on the rise: CBA]

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Malavika Santhebennur


Malavika Santhebennur is a content specialist at Momentum Media, focusing on mortgages and finance writing.

Before joining Momentum Media in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media, where she was writing about financial services.


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