House buys going up
Source: Canva.
  • Finder's national survey showed 3 million Aussies planned to buy a property in the next 6 months
  • 27% of Australians would buy a property in the next 6 months if they were able to afford it
  • Housing affordability has been a hot button issue in Australia

Despite reports of headwinds slowing property price growth, new research from Finder paints the opposite picture.

According to their nationally representative survey, almost 3 million Australians are planning to buy a property in the next six months.

The research revealed 7% of Australians are looking to buy as an investment, while 7% plan to live in the home they buy. Furthermore, 27% of Australians – equivalent to over 5 million people – would buy a property in the next 6 months if they were able to afford it.

Housing affordability has been a hot button issue in Australia, even before Covid-induced government stimulus and low-interest rates drove prices up.

Sydney and Melbourne are now the third and sixth most unaffordable cities in the world according to the 2021 Demographia International Housing Affordability report. 

The federal government is trying to help young people get into the market by implementing schemes such as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), which will allow first home buyers to buy a home with a deposit of as little as 5%. 

Despite these efforts at helping first home buyers jump over the deposit hurdle (according to the Grattan Institute – in the early 1990s, it took 6 years to save a 20% deposit on an average home. Today it takes 10 years.), economists have argued that housing supply is the fundamental issue that needs to be fixed.

A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Australia’s planning approvals and zoning restrictions play a key role in limiting housing supply. In a speech at the Australian Farm Institute Conference, Philip Lowe, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), cited strict planning regulations as a challenge to increasing the supply of housing.

It is the responsibility of state and local governments to tackle these problems, although housing economist, Saul Eslake said the federal government is not making the affordability situation any better by artificially increasing the demand for housing in the short term.

If the 3 million figure from Finder is accurate, this will massively increase demand for housing in the short term without much movement in supply unless long-term planning reform is tackled head-on.

Other findings from the research include more than 1 in 4 millennials are in the market for a new home or investment (27%), compared to 17% of gen Z and 9% of gen X. Again, the rise in young first home buyers is likely boosted by federal government incentives to lower the barrier of entry – namely that of the deposit.

Just 4% of baby boomers plan to purchase a home in the coming 6 months.

Men (19%) are twice as likely as women (9%) to be in the market for a new home or investment.

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