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First timers eye NSW unit market

By webmaster
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First time buyers continue to flood the New South Wales property market, looking to take advantage of the soon to expire stamp duty concessions, new research has found.

In NSW, first home buyers currently receive a stamp duty exemption for property purchases under $500,000, with discounts calculated on a sliding scale between $500,000 and $600,000.

But from January 1, 2012, the stamp duty concessions will apply to new homes only.

George Kambouroglou, principal of Raine and Horne Rockdale, in Sydney’s southern suburbs, said recently that first time buyer enquiries are up 20 per cent, with a strong focus on the unit market.

“Anecdotally it appears many first timers are now rushing to buy a home, before they lose access to thousands of dollars in government assistance at the end of 2011,” Mr Kambouroglou said.

“We’ve already sold six apartments to first home buyers including a two bedroom apartment at 13/33 Burrows Street, Arncliffe, which sold for $470,000 in late September 2011.

“Both apartments were in similar condition and 13/33 Burrows Street was snapped up by literally the first person to visit it at the initial open for inspection.”

Data from Loan Market Group released late last month supports Mr Kambouroglou's comments, with the company reporting a 60 per cent increase in the number of first time buyer enquires in September.

Moreover, 76 per cent of brokers outside of Loan Market are reporting similar results.

“The increase in activity around pre-approvals is a clear indication that parts of the NSW property market are due for increased competition,” Loan Market chief operating officer Dean Rushton said.

“What we’re starting to see in the NSW market right now is a similar scenario to the end of 2009 when the government withdrew the increased First Home Owners Grant. Market demand has been pulled forward and buyers are accelerating their purchasing plans.”

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