Outlook for first homebuyers and investors differs

First homebuyers have been increasingly active in Two Rocks for the past six months, according to one developer.

FIRST homebuyers are back in the housing market but there has been a cooling of investor activity, according to the Housing Industry Association.

The association’s chief economist Tim Reardon said Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance data for September showed the growth of first homebuyers was evident across all markets but was most dramatic in NSW and Victoria.

Mr Reardon said Australian Prudential Regulation Authority- announced restrictions on the housing market had slowed investor activity in the housing market while having a secondary effect of helping first homebuyers back into the market.

Atlantis Beach project director Jarrod Rendell said first homebuyers have been increasingly active in Two Rocks during the past six months.

Mr Rendell said first homebuyers had accounted for more than 50 per cent of all property buyers at Atlantis Beach, which will have more than 6000 homes when finally completed.

“In particular, first homebuyers have been very active in our Constellation release with only 12 of the 50 titled lots in the stage now remaining for sale,’’ he said.

Mr Rendell said the latest ABS housing finance figures showed during August first homebuyers in WA financed the purchase of 1589 dwellings which was the highest number in more than two years.

The previous highest number of dwellings financed by first homebuyers in WA was during June 2015 (1595).

First home buyer activity has been gradually rising during 2017 since the end of 2016 when just 1054 dwellings were financed by first homebuyers.

Mr Reardon said nationally first homeowners had also been brought back to the market due to the big supply of apartments being completed at the moment.

“This is a very positive sign of a healthy market – first homeowners have been forced out of the market in recent years due to rising prices,’’ he said.

“On the other side of the market, investors have incurred additional borrowing costs from APRA regulatory imposts which have limited the availability of loans to investors and therefore forced up the effective interest rate they incur – this was the intention of these imposts.

“There has been a reduction of investor borrowing activity of 2 per cent in the six months since these punitive measures came into effect.

“This is a concern for the market as investors remain important to the ongoing supply of new homes in the market available for rent.’’

He said the cooling of investor activity in the market should be closely monitored.