While half of potential first home buyers still believe it's possible to own a property, a digital media expert believes agents aren't approaching this market in the most effective way.
The Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index has revealed 51 per cent of 2,498 Australian adults still consider home ownership to be realistic.
Managing director of Websites 4 Real Estate Greg Vincent said while low interest rates had encouraged buyers into the market, prices were having an impact on where they could buy.
“The borrowing capacity has increased but the prices have gone up quite significantly,” he said. “Whether or not the affordability is there for the first home buyers, some of them will probably need to move further out to other areas to capitalise on home ownership and getting into the marketplace."
Principal of hockingstuart Ringwood Karen Vogl said she was surprised by the result, as she expected it to be higher.
“I’m in a very big first home buyer area and the first home buyers are so active at the moment," the Melbourne-based agent said. "The good thing is they’re doing something. They’re not sitting on the fence. They’re actually making decisions and not procrastinating anymore.
“The first home buyers have always been pretty active, but there seems to be a little bit of a rush at the moment.”
Ms Vogl, who was ranked 13th in the 2013 Top 100 Agents list, said a lot of marketing strategies were aimed at first home buyers and were internet based.
“We know they’re the biggest part of the market at the moment and it’s the way they search,” she said.
“Certainly the younger Gen Y buyers like to search via Google as well as the real estate portals."
She added her office utilised videos in listings as it boosted the possibility of it being found on Google.
Mr Vincent supported Ms Vogl’s use of video, saying it was an element that many agents were failing to capitalise on.
“Agents need to use the platforms that are available to them so that their area and their property stands out more," he said.
He added that agents also needed to pay attention to the de-selection process that buyers go through on the internet.
“People are in a position where they haven’t got time to go out and look at a whole heap of properties, so what agents have got to do is grab someone’s attention and make their properties stand out on the internet," he said. "They need to have their online media tie in with their offline media.”