Melbourne first-home buyers are looking to build or buy a home closer to the CBD, shunning the commute from the south-eastern suburbs, new data from the State Revenue Office has revealed.
The data includes the number of applications for first-home buyer grants or stamp duty concessions or exemptions by postcode in Victoria between January and March this year.
It found suburbs of postcode 3064 including Craigieburn, Kalkallo, Mickleham and Roxburgh Park – 29 kilometres north of the city – had more applications for the first-home buyer grant than anywhere else in the metropolitan area.
With 278 grant applications, these northern suburbs topped the outer south-eastern suburbs of Cardinia and Clyde — more than 50 kilometres from central Melbourne — which had 247 applications. These suburbs dropped from the top position they held at the same time last year.
Buyers’ advocate Cate Bakos, of Cate Bakos Property, said the data reflected the fact first-home buyers were looking to avoid long commutes to the city which many living in the outer east and south-east faced.
“People are voting with their feet,” Ms Bakos said. “It’s all about the time it takes to get from work to home.”
She said buyers were also jumping on the cheaper house prices in these northern suburbs which gave first-home buyers access to the grants or discounts, or allowed them to avoid paying stamp duty altogether if the house was valued under $600,000.
Buyers’ and sellers’ advocate Wendy Chamberlain said she had noticed a move towards the northern suburbs over the past six to eight months.
“They’re definitely buying based on a budget under $600,000,” Ms Chamberlain said.
Young families or young couples looking to expand their family were attracted to the large blocks and four-bedroom homes that they can grow into.
Newlyweds Alysha and Max Handcock, 26 and 21, recently purchased in Craigieburn after looking for long-term properties, as well as investments.
“We were new to the market and went out one day to have a look at a couple of houses and get a feel for what auctions were like,” Mr Handcock said. “We came across one house that we fell in love with and before we knew it, at our first auction, we owned our first home.”
The couple bought a three-bedroom, two bathroom home for under their $550,000 budget.
Ray White Craigieburn principal Carlo Gargano said he had noticed a spike in the number of first-home buyers coming to the area over the past year.
First-home buyers including those with young families could enjoy a lifestyle with good public transport and open spaces not too far from work, or from the CBD, he said.
“There’s a lot of schools now, the shopping centre and plenty of parks and open spaces here as well,” Mr Gargano said.
First-home buyer grant applications January-March 2019
|3064||Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Kalkallo, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park||278|
|3029||Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina||207|
|3030||Cocoroc, Derrimut, Point Cook, Quandong, Werribee||161|
|3217||Charlemont, Armstrong Creek, Mount Duneed, Feshwater Creek||119|
First-home buyer grant applications January-March 2018
|3029||Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina||191|
|3064||Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Kalkallo, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park||180|
|3030||Cocoroc, Derrimut, Point Cook, Quandong, Werribee||152|
Source: State Revenue Office of Victoria
As well as leading the way with grant applications for new home builds or buys, the Craigieburn area had the most applications for first-home buyer stamp duty concessions or exemptions. These stamp duty discounts normally apply to homes older than five years and valued under $750,000.
Craigieburn had 293 of these applications between January and March. Point Cook and Werribee were second with 240 while Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit and Truganina were third with 228 applications.
Meanwhile, in regional cities, the booming outer Geelong suburbs of Armstrong Creek, Freshwater Creek and Mount Duneed continued to lead the way with the most applications for first-home buyer grants.
There were 119 applications between January and March this year.
Ballarat, however, led the way for the number of applications for concessions or discounts on stamp duty.
Domain economist Trent Wiltshire said while the data showed there was a 9.5 per cent drop in overall applications for grants and stamp duty discounts from first-home buyers, regional areas were still doing well when it came to new builds.
Regional cities saw a jump in the number of applications for first-home owner grants by 22 per cent when comparing January-March 2018 to the same time this year.
“It’s not surprising that regional areas have seen an increase in applications given the growing demand from first-home buyers and greater affordability in these areas,” Mr Wiltshire said.
He said the offer of a $20,000 first-home buyers grant in regional areas, versus $10,000 in metro areas, could also be enticing them to shift to regional cities.
In metropolitan Melbourne, the growth in applications had been slower, rising 2 per cent overall in the first three months of this year compared to 2018.
“This is really reflective of the slowing market in Melbourne overall,” Mr Wiltshire said.
– With Susan Telai
This article first appeared in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article.