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First home buyers taking advantage of the government’s loan deposit scheme now have more choice when picking a suburb to settle in.
According to the latest CoreLogic Property Pulse report, an average of 107 suburbs in capital cities have a median value at or below the qualifying threshold for the federal government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS).
In Sydney, where the threshold is $700,000, Kellyville, Rouse Hill, Arncliffe, Hurstvlle, , Strathfield, Wentworth Point, Gladesville, Ryde, Caringba and Kirrawee all clocked median unit values below the threshold. Rouse Hill was the most affordable, falling by $88,146 to a median value of $638,755.
Meanwhile, Melbourne saw the suburbs of Balaclava, , Docklands, South Melbourne, St Kilda East, Thornbury, Ferntree Gully, Beaconsfield Upper, Clayton and Oakleigh fall below the $600,000 threshold. Clayton was the most affordable, falling $65,579 to a median value of $570,988.
CoreLogic’s head of research, Eliza Owen, pointed out that Melbourne has seen particularly severe declines in rent and property values since the onset of COVID-19.
“This is because the Melbourne - Inner region has historically had particularly high exposure to housing demand from overseas migrants, such as international students, as well as people employed in tourism, hospitality and the arts. Both cohorts have been particularly affected by the pandemic,” said Ms Owen.
The same trends could be observed in South Brisbane, where inner-city Brisbane also saw “relatively high levels of overseas migration as a component of population growth”, the researcher said.
As such, the median unit value in Brisbane’s Inner City fell to $468,672, slightly lower than the threshold of $475,000.
Meanwhile, South West Perth saw a decline of $49,036 to a unit median value of $397,318 – meeting the $400,000 threshold.
Moving forward, Ms Owen projected upward pressure on prices provided as a result of the resumption in interstate and international travel.
“As more of the housing market is caught in a broad-based upswing, first home buyers could face more challenges getting into the market in the year ahead,” she concluded.
The Minister for Housing announced on Wednesday that the federal government is set to expand its First Home Loan Deposit Scheme by 1,800 buyers in days, with those looking to purchase an existing property offered the opportunity to secure a 5 per cent deposit.
According to Housing Minister Michael Sukkar, the additional spots were left unused by eligible buyers who accessed the scheme in the first round released in January 2020.