NSW first home buyers targeting Sydney's outer suburbs and Central Coast

Jonathan ChancellorDecember 7, 2020

NSW first home buyers looking for the quickest path to purchasing are targeting the Sydney's outer suburbs and the Central Coast.

The latest figures shows Liverpool is the most active suburb over the past two years for first home buyer acquisition, followed by Campbelltown, Kingswood, Camden and Westmead.

The figures also show Riverstone is the most active suburb over the past two years for first home buyer construction. Riverstone is 48 kilometres north-west of the Sydney CBD, in the Blacktown local government area, part of the Greater Western Sydney region.

NSW FHBs have saved more than a billion dollars in stamp duty under the NSW Government’s Housing Affordability Strategy over the past two years. 

More than 67,800 home buyers having taken advantage of the opportunity to save up to $24,740 in stamp duty when purchasing their first house or apartment.

The scheme eliminates stamp duty for FHBs purchasing a new or existing property valued up to $650,000 and provides stamp duty savings for purchases of homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

The First Home Owner Grant of up to $10,000 is available for new housing constructions valued up to $600,000, or for land and a new construction you intend to build valued up to $750,000.

The share of first home buyers entering the NSW property market has increased from 17% to 27.5% from July 2017 to July this year, according to ABS lending data.

In July there were 2,580 FHB finance commitments which was the largest monthly number since January 2012.

Generally FHBs are looking to enter the market making sacrifices in regard to location or size and condition of improvements.

"Despite this, there are still fundamentals that will attract these buyers," the valuation firm Herron Todd White (HTW) noted recently," the valuation firm stated. 

"The main fundamental for FHBs in Western Sydney is the same as for upgraders and prestige buyers - location, location, location!"

While that won’t necessarily mean close proximity to the Sydney CBD, it will still mean proximity to services and transport.

Western Sydney FHBs are generally buying property sub-$650,000. 

"For that sort of money, you are buying a modern two- bedroom unit in a north-western suburb such as Castle Hill, or a detached house in the outer west suburbs such as Blacktown or Penrith," the valuation firm said. 

"Being close to motorways and rail, but not too close, is key for commuting western Sydney residents."

Affordable property with close proximity to shopping and transport for the sub-$650,000 range will generally be medium to high density real estate.

The HTW report suggest FHBs with a little more to spend, and with the need or want for a house on a good size block of land, seek opportunities available in the middle ring of Sydney. 

The inner-city FHBs - typically being sub-$1 million - are also looking for proximity to lifestyle amenities. 

This market purchases one and two- bedroom units, often without parking in older to semi-modern complexes in average condition. 

The dream of home ownership currently sees a trend among FHBs to buy a small apartment with the aim to trade up within five years, according to the Genworth First Home Buyer Sentiment Report.

Despite the many hurdles, FHB levels are set to remain up because of government incentives. But they compete for similar properties with investors who often have more borrowing power because of the equity they have in other property.

CoreLogic has noted there may be a sense of urgency from FHBs to enter the Sydney market, as they foresee affordability deteriorating.

This article first appeared in The Daily Telegraph. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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