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Home and hosed: Qld's first-home buyer rush biggest in a decade

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Outer suburbs and regional centres are leading a surge in first-home buyer activity as Queensland shows the way with a 39 per cent increase in the three months to October 31, according to the NAB.

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The NAB said its own data showed first-ome buyers were back in the market at levels not seen in a decade. For the 12 months NAB’s lending to first-home buyers was up 21 per cent on the back of low interest rates and government grants such as the First Home Owners’ grant and HomeBuilder.

The bank’s home-ownership executive Andy Kerr said commute times were no longer a concern for many who work from home and this had led the push to outer suburbs and regions.

“A brief pullback in property prices also helped first-home buyers as the uncertainty of COVID-19 put many plans on ice with investor demand slowing noticeably,” Kerr said.

Ray White said November had been the strongest month of sales in 118 years of business with $6.68 billion in sales, up 34 per cent year-on-year based on 8000 transactions. CoreLogic also said demand was still strong in Brisbane.

In Queensland, the first-home buyer hotspots were more widespread than in any other state, with postcodes in Brisbane, Ipswich, the Gold Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa all making the list.

Kerr said first- home buyers were considering plenty of options within an hour of Brisbane’s CBD from Ipswich to the east, North Lakes in the north and Coomera on the Gold Coast to the south,” Kerr said.

“Cairns and areas just north of the Sunshine Coast just missed out but are also in demand, and are expected to remain that way as the sea change draws more converts.”

Mount Isa tops the list with 115 per cent growth in demand. Browns Plains had 106 per cent, North Lakes 99 per cent, Coomera 94 per cent, Greater Springfield 67 per cent, Ipswich 93 per cent, Karrabin 58 per cent. Hervey Bay and Bohle Plains (Townsville) had 64 per cent growth.

Kerr said the growth in demand from first home buyers was across the country, but particularly strong in Queensland. In metropolitan areas, lending to first home buyers grew by 17 per cent in in Ipswich and greater Brisbane.

“Flexible working arrangement implemented due to COVID-19 are encouraging many Australians to consider a tree or sea change as easy access to the CBD moves down the priority list.”

Low interest rates are expected to remain in place for the next three years and Kerr said the bank expected first-home buyers to remain active through next year.

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