First-home buyers increasingly looking beyond city centres – report

Prospective buyers priced out of their preferred suburbs are looking elsewhere

First-home buyers increasingly looking beyond city centres – report

With Australian property prices shooting up by 22% last year, first-home buyers squeezed out of their preferred suburbs are increasingly looking beyond city centres, according to new data from REA Group.

The suburbs receiving the highest rate of enquiry from would-be first-home buyers at the end of 2021 were located on the city fringes and in regional pockets, according to a report by Business Insider Australia.

While the Melbourne central business district had the greatest number of first-home buyer enquiries, the outer-Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn, 25 kilometres from the CBD, came in second, Business Insider Australia reported. Pakenham, on the fringes of Gippsland, came in third. Fourth was Pimpama, halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Queensland.

In New South Wales, major regional hubs including Wollongong, Orange and Dubbo saw a spike in demand. Enquiries for units in Wollongong pushed it to number five on the list of most-enquired-about suburbs.

Michelle May, a buyers’ agent in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and inner west, said first-home buyers’ interest in areas like Wollongong indicated that the shift to lifestyle areas wasn’t confined to people already established on the property ladder.

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“I think there’s going to be a continued emphasis on the multifunctionality of the property,” May told Business Insider Australia. She pointed out increased interest in properties with space that could be converted to a home study, NBN access, and access to nearby green space.

May told the publication that the REA Group data lined up with her experience with prospective buyers in Sydney who had been priced out as housing values continued to rise.

“It was a rude awakening that they could no longer afford it,” May said. “So they’re venturing further south and further west to get what they want.”

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