First-home buyers now likelier to be in their 30s than 20s: Survey

The common perception of first-home buyers as 20-somethings may need to be reconsidered, with a new survey showing a declining trend in first-home buyers aged 29 and under and a rising proportion of buyers aged 40 and over.

A Mortgage Choice online survey of 1,000 Australians who plan to buy their first home in the next two years found that the greatest proportion of first-home buyers (41%) are aged between 30 and 39, compared with 39% aged 18 to 29.

The proportion of prospective first-home buyers aged 40 and over was 20%, or one in five.

These results build on earlier online polls that show a trend of first-home buyers choosing to purchase when they are older and a marked decline in younger buyers.

The Mortgage Choice 2011 recent first-home owner survey found that the majority of first-home buyers (55%) were aged between 18 and 29, this itself a fall from a 2010 survey when 63% of respondents were in this age bracket.

The 2011 survey also found that 34% of recent first-home buyers were aged between 30 and 39, and only 11% were aged 40 and over.

Mortgage Choice spokesperson Belinda Williamson says the results of the survey show that “more first-home buyers are saving for longer and purchasing later in life, perhaps when they are in a better financial position”.

Other findings of the 2012 survey tie in with the shift towards older first-home buyers, with the average period to save for a deposit increasing from 1.8 years in the 2011 survey to two years in 2012.

It also found that job security concerns have increased notably since 2011, with 18% of 2012 respondents claiming it to be their biggest concern, compared with 11% last year.

Conversely, fewer buyers are concerned about rising house prices (22% this year compared with 31% in 2011) and even fewer are concerned about the impact of interest rates on their ability to purchase their first home (8% this year compared with 14% in 2011).

“While many of the economic indicators such as rate cuts, lower house prices and improved affordability might suggest now is a good time to buy, people are still nervous about their ability to sustain employment,” says Williamson.

This article first appeared on Property Observer.

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