The local property market is booming right now.
Buyers are back in force, open homes are heaving and, according to relestate.com.au data, the median price in some areas has lifted by more than 7% since the start of the year.
So exactly who are the people buying right now and why are they determined to secure a property? We take a look at the five key groups driving today’s rising market.
1. First home buyers
Getting the first step onto the property ladder is one of the most important financial decisions anyone can make in life. The great news is that first home buyers are out in force right now, especially in the market for homes under $600,000. This is part of an Australia-wide trend, with official ABS data shows that loans to new homeowners rose 42.5% over 2020.
And why wouldn’t first home buyers be active right now?
There are generous state and federal government incentives on offer, including stamp duty concessions and exemptions, the First Home Owner Grant and the Commonwealth-based First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
Perhaps even more importantly, interest rates are at record lows. With banks now offering fixed-term rates below 2% it’s often more cost-effective to buy than rent.
2. Tree changers and sea changers
Tree changers and sea changers have been a factor in our local property market for some time. However, the number of people looking to make a lifestyle change to Lake Macquarie and the Hunter has reached new heights over the past 12 months.
After all, the COVID-19 pandemic made a lot of people reflect on how they wanted to live. For many, that involved a more relaxed lifestyle out of the bigger cities.
While the stereotype of the tree changer or sea changer is someone close to retirement age, we’ve noticed a lot of younger people making the switch and buying into our local area. These buyers often have the ability to work out of home. Otherwise, they tend to have a job-based in Newcastle or Sydney but only have to be in the office a couple of times a week.
We all spent a lot more time at home over 2020 and, as a result, many of us started to feel a bit short on space. Little wonder then that a lot of homeowners began looking for somewhere they could stretch out a bit.
As with other buyers, this group is often taking advantage of current low-interest rates and the high sales prices they’re achieving for their current home to take the next step up the property ladder.
These buyers are often looking for a big four or five-bedroom home that really lets the family spread out.
The other trend we’re seeing that’s linked to the same underlying factors is homeowners undertaking major renovations or even carrying out a larger knockdown/rebuild project. Local tradies are in high demand.
While Australia hasn’t seen much in the way of international immigration over the past 12 months, there have certainly many Australians returning home from overseas. Expat buyers have become a serious force in our local market, looking to take this opportunity to buy into a lifestyle they could only dream of when based internationally.
Often, these buyers have a relatively large amount to spend – usually over the $1 million mark – and they’re looking to secure the very best of Australian coastal or lakeside life. This makes expats a serious factor in the market for waterside and other lifestyle properties.
Because they’re so keen to secure their dream, some of these buyers aren’t even back in Australia and they’re relying on family and friends (or technology) to see a home before buying sight unseen. And some are investors, still located overseas but keen to get a foot in the rising market.
If you’d like to know more about buying or selling in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter, get in touch.