Western Australia is once again proving resilient, with first home buyer numbers bucking a national trend in Perth.
In the December 2012 quarter, 34.6 per cent of Perth’s home loans were taken out by first home buyers, well above the national figure of 24.5 per cent.
Stuart Cox, CEO of Harcourts Western Australia, said first home buyer activity has remained strong for a number of reasons.
“Historically low interest rates, increased affordability and a tightening rental market are all factors which have encouraged people to buy property for the first time,” Mr Cox said.
“With median weekly rents now sitting at $470 per week, people are keen to get out of the rental market and into a home of their own.
“People are doing the maths and realising that buying a property will either cost them the same or slightly more than renting,” Mr Cox said.
According to the RP Data Buy Vs. Rent report for the same period, WA had 48 suburbs where it was cheaper to service a mortgage than pay rent.
Mr Cox said the only thing standing in potential first home buyers’ ways is obtaining finance due to tighter post-global financial crisis lending conditions.
“Getting a deposit together is a struggle for some as many lenders are now cautious of lending more than 80 per cent of the value of a property,” Mr Cox said.
“Regardless of current lending conditions, if people are in a position to buy a home for the first time, now is certainly the right time to take the plunge.
“Interest rates are low, housing affordability has improved and employment is stable, making now the perfect time to buy,” Mr Cox said.