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Why owner-occupier home buyers have a reason to smile

By Matt Hurlston

It has been a struggle for people to grab hold of real estate in Bentleigh. This is particularly true for owner-occupiers (people who live in the property they buy) who have had to deal with dropping affordability in property while competing against relentless investors.

According to a 1 October report by CoreLogic RP Data,  investors accounted for 53 per cent of the value of new housing finance in Victoria. Clearly, this group of buyers are a major player in the property scene.

Where is confidence going?

The difficulty owner-occupiers face has been illustrated in Genworth's Streets Ahead report from September, which takes a look at confidence in the market via survey. First homebuyers experienced a decline in confidence, caused mainly by mortgage stress.

Furthermore, the number of respondents (48 per cent) who believe it was a good time to buy a home dropped, with overpriced housing being the mostly commonly cited reason.

But the government hasn't been idle about this issue. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) stepped forward in December last year to enforce a limit on residential investment lending growth on major banks. This was to slow down investors entering the market and cool rising prices.

This tightening of finance has seen tangible effects, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the value of lending commitments for investment housing dropped by 0.4 per cent in the month to August, while commitments for owner-occupied dwellings rose by 6.1 per cent.

At the same time, the percentage of first homebuyer commitments to total owner-occupied commitments rose by 0.3 per cent.

As these trends continue, confidence might return again to owner-occupier first-time homebuyers as prices cool.

Owner-occupiers finding room in Bentleigh

If you're a first-time home buyer or seasoned property owner, you should be finding it less difficult to get your hands on real estate in Bentleigh. Give Ray White Bentleigh a ring and we'll help you get settled in a home that investors wished they got their hands on.

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