Over 20 per cent of first home buyers are now electing to buy an investment property as their first property purchase, says Mortgage Choice.
In September last year, Mortgage Choice surveyed one thousand first home buyers (FHBs) and found that more than 21 per cent (at least one in five) are now electing to buy an investment property as their first property purchase.
Mortgage Choice chief executive Michael Russell said this is significantly up on what that number would have been five years ago.
“They are electing to rent in an area they want to live in and can't afford and are investing in an area they don’t want to live in and can afford,” he said.
“This is skewing the comparisons being made. We really hope that the regulators looking at trying to stymie the growth in investor lending will look beneath the numbers. This buying behaviour change is very real.”
Mortgage Choice franchisees have provided anecdotal evidence to support the group’s findings that one in five FHBs are choosing an investment property.
“If you go back four or five years there is no way 21 per cent of FHBs were buying investment properties as their first home,” Mr Russell said.
“We just need to delve into the numbers a bit more before we start to impose any regulatory slowdown in investor lending,” he said.
“The second thing is the timing of the slowdown. With house prices cooling, GDP under three per cent and unemployment on the rise, you really have to question why you would be slowing down the housing sector at this time.”