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AU First home buyers are staying out of the market

Property Here - Thursday, August 22, 2013

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Thomas Samaras has a strategy to escape the rent treadmill.

Thomas Samaras has a strategy to escape the rent treadmill. Source: News Limited

FIRST-home buyers are putting their dreams on hold, after being deterred by rising property prices and uncertainty over future employment.

The fifth annual RAMS First-Home Buyers' Pulse Check survey, released yesterday, revealed just one in eight people looking to buy their first home were seeking to do so within the next three months.

The majority identified 12 months as a realistic time frame for making a purchase, despite believing now to be a great time to buy.

"Results showed (respondents were) motivated to enter the market to stop paying rent and take advantage of low fixed and variable interest rates," said RAMS chief executive Melos Sulicich.

"However, many still feel buying a home is out of reach due to the challenges of saving for a loan deposit and finding a home in the right location.

"Results also indicate key concerns are a fear of unemployment, uncertainty around future earnings and a lack of housing supply."

NSW homebuyers were feeling the pinch of affordability barriers, being far more likely than those in other States to seek help from family members in raising a deposit.

"Prices are more expensive in NSW and the impact of the drop in first home buyers is felt across the rest of the country," Mr Sulicich said. "But once they have the mortgage, we find customers say it was one of the most rewarding things they have ever done."

The survey showed first home buyers had evolved since 2009, with a third now likely to be aged over 36. They were also less likely to have children, more likely to save for more than two years for a deposit and less likely to be able to buy in their choice of location. They were motivated largely by no longer paying rent.

"Customers recognise it can be cheaper to buy a home than pay rent and are working hard at saving for a deposit to get off the rental treadmill by taking out a second job, selling shares or using an online high interest savings account," Mr Sulicich said.

Thomas Samaras, 25, lived in Sydney for two years before deciding to buy a property. He soon realised he could not save enough for a deposit, so moved to the Central Coast for cheaper rent.

"I found it really hard to save in Sydney, paying rent and living expenses," Mr Samaras said. "My mates had been living on the central coast for a while and now I live with them and we commute to Sydney for work."

Mr Samaras plans to buy within 12 months and free himself from rent once and for all.

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