4 in 5 Aussies putting off home-ownership: Here’s why

Two people looking at an open home sign.
Home ownership is out of mind for a growing number of Aussies. (Source: Getty)

Home prices in Australia are starting to weaken, but that’s not convincing first home buyers to jump into the market.

New NAB data found the number of Australians who thought now was a good time to buy a home had fallen to 18 per cent in Q2 2022, down from 23 per cent in the previous quarter.

This is the weakest result since the survey began three years ago.

NAB executive home ownership Andy Kerr said the housing market was constantly evolving and recent trends had opened up new opportunities for buyers.

“We’re predicting a drop in housing prices of around 18 per cent in the next 18 months, which would take us back to January 2021 levels,” Kerr said.

“With a combination of house prices declining and the recent release of the First Home Guarantee Scheme, it will renew optimism for first home buyers.”

Kerr said despite the weak result, now may actually be a good time for Aussies to start considering entering the market.

“So, despite rising rates, we're still seeing a steady intention of people looking to buy, even if sentiment is showing us that buyers may wait a little longer,” he said.

“New flexible working arrangements have allowed buyers to buy in suburbs that, in the past, would not have worked for full-time commutes to the city.

“Previously, it was the sea change or the tree change; now it’s more of a desk change.”

Is it a good time to buy now?

Property prices are showing signs of weakness, and higher interest rates are likely to put further strain on the market.

But tighter lending laws are also acting to limit who is able to get a loan.

While property prices are seeing a slowdown in growth they are still very high in certain parts of the country, and higher interest rates means mortgage repayments will be higher.

The NAB survey found fewer people across all states thought now was a good time to get a mortgage, ranging from around one in four in the ACT (24 per cent) and WA (23 per cent) to just one in seven in Tasmania (14 per cent).

Less than one in five in WA (17 per cent) and VIC (18 per cent), and around one in five in SA (19 per cent) and NSW (20 per cent), thought now was a good time to buy.

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