First home buyers have significantly reprioritised what matters most when searching for their ideal home, according to the Westpac’s Home Ownership Report.
The research, commissioned by Westpac surveyed over 1,000 Australian home owners and first home buyers, and features trend data from the past two years.
The latest report demonstrates that first home buyers are less focused on buying a home in an area that is trendy or close to work, with both significantly decreasing in the ranking of “essential features” by 83 percent and 48 percent respectively.
A quiet neighbourhood, access to public transport, and safety are features that have also become less important during the decision-making process, with each decreasing by 37 percent, 21 percent and 9 percent respectively.
Andy Wright, Head of Home Ownership for Westpac Group, said in the face of housing affordability challenges and rising household costs, the research suggests first home buyers are becoming increasingly flexible and willing to shift their priorities in order to achieve their ultimate goal.
“These attitudinal shifts among first-home buyers towards home ownership suggest we may see more looking to buy in areas that they hadn’t considered, with many previously thought ‘essential’ features now just ‘nice-to-have’,” Wright said.
“In fact, the market saw home loans to first home buyers recently rise to a four year high, which suggests we may be already seeing the positive results of these shifts, combined with government incentives in New South Wales and Victoria.”
First home buyers are turning their attention to the inside of a home instead, as modern bathrooms and kitchens become more essential, increasing in priority by 25% and 10% respectively.
Nearly one in five first home buyers plan to support the purchase of their first home with help from family or friends, including guarantor loans.
Meanwhile, home owner-occupiers are opting to maximise their current home and are increasingly considering renovating. The number of those considering selling a home has decreased by 11 percent compared to last year.
“Our data shows that home owner-occupiers are increasingly choosing to focus on improving their current home rather than selling and relocating,” Mr Wright said.