First-time homebuyers are no longer opting for city living, as new data shows how affordability and the option to work from home have driven would-be homeowners to the outer metro suburbs.
Lending data from the big four NAB banks reveals that buyers are snapping up suburban homes that weren’t as popular in previous years, as flexible working gives employees the option to get work done outside the office.
Andy Kerr, NAB Homeownership Executive, says the hybrid working trend has allowed those who previously had to factor distance from work into their property considerations to broaden their location preferences.
“Flexible working is one of the biggest trends of the last decade when it comes to changing the game for property sales,” Kerr said.
“The work-from-home option gives first-time homebuyers more choice when it comes to location. Suddenly a slightly longer drive when done several times a week becomes a serious consideration.”
Despite a downward trend in home sales throughout 2022, data comparing the first three months of the year to first-time homebuyer activity in the June quarter revealed some ZIP codes booming on the demand.
New south Wales
Maroubra, Sydney’s beachside suburb, turned out to be the most popular among first-time shoppers in the state, with a soaring 269 per cent increase in purchases by the demographic.
Kerr said shopping in such a suburb reveals that work-life balance is still in vogue, particularly with apartment living.
Meanwhile, some of the western suburbs of the state also saw substantial growth with first-time home purchases in Granville, Bungarribee and Wentworthville increasing by 264%, 137% and 34% respectively.
According to realestate.com.au, first-time homebuyers looking to buy in Granville can expect to pay a median price of $457,000 for an apartment and $950,000 for a three-bedroom home.
“Access to Parramatta and Blacktown with so many amenities and transport options means first-time homebuyers continue to flock to Sydney’s west in search of a bargain,” Kerr said.
Other suburbs that saw an increase in first-time homebuyer purchases include the 2765, 2763 and 2113 zip codes, as well as the regional suburbs of Dapto and Orange.
Dandenong, which is 35km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD, ranked first in Victoria by recording an 80 per cent increase in purchases by first-time homebuyers between April and June this year.
Apartments in the area have a median price of $383,999, while a three-bedroom house costs around $692,500.
Endeavor Hills, Clyde North and Frankston also saw growth, as did Richmond, which made the list last year.
But it was the regional suburbs of Belmont, up 69 percent, and Sunbury, up 36 percent, that indicated buyers were seeking a change of scenery away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
A three-bedroom home in Belmont and Sunbury is listed for a median price of $756,500 and $630,000, respectively.
Fortitude Valley saw the largest increase in first-time homebuyer occupancy in Queensland, followed by postcodes 4207, 4509 and 4503.
“With cafes, pubs or trendy shops on your doorstep, it’s no surprise that Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is a popular hotspot for first-time homebuyers this year,” Kerr said.
“If you’re looking for the downtown experience, Fortitude Valley still has it all.”
But it was the regional areas of the state that saw area demand rise, with Bundaberg posting 85 percent growth and East Mackay seeing a 42 percent increase.
Based on 174 sales in the last 12 months, homes in North Bundaberg have a median price of $310,000, while previous year’s sales data for East Mackay shows homes are priced at $420,000.
Perth’s leading food, fashion, entertainment and lifestyle destination, Karrinyup saw a 41% increase in purchases for the first time, followed by Queens Park, Brabham and Wanneroo.
A two-bedroom home in Karrinyup has a median price of $695,000, while a two-bedroom property in Queens Park sells for a median price of $480,000.
Meanwhile, in the state’s regional zip code of 6230, the suburb of Bunbury saw 125 percent growth in the June quarter.
South Australia and ACT
Finally, Blakeview, a northern suburb of Adelaide, saw 90% growth, while Ainslie, in ACT postcode 2602, saw a 360% increase in first-time buyer purchases.
Kerr said falling house prices and the First Home Guarantee scheme have allowed first-time buyers to get a foothold in the property market with a little less stress.
“There is renewed optimism for first-time homebuyers,” he said.