31 October 2021
Tips for getting into the property market faster
Getting into the property market isn’t easy. Here are our 5 top tips to help people get into the property market quicker.
If you’re yet to step into the property market, you’re forgiven for thinking it’s too difficult. A shortage of stock, appealing low interest rates and a shift away from inner-city living are some of the factors causing housing prices to go through the roof. At this rate, if you want to buy your first home you might need to live with your parents and eat toast for dinner for ten years in an effort to save a big enough deposit!
Since early 2020 house prices across the country have soared, with prices in some cities up 29%. The data shows that 31% of all Australian households have very little capacity to save or to buy beyond what they need after meeting housing costs.
Professor Burke, who co authored the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report, A New Lens on Housing Affordability and Market Behaviour, says renters face some of the most severe affordability problems.
The study found that prospective buyers with annual incomes less than $40,000 were forced out of buying a home altogether, while those with incomes between $40,000 and $80,000 could only afford homes in the outer suburbs or growth areas.
Not until income exceeded $100,000 was there much ability for buyers to purchase in the inner city or middle suburbs, the study found.
So in the current market, getting into your first home might take a different approach. Here are five ways that may help you buy your own place sooner.
1. Rent to own
In a rent to own situation, the seller helps the buyer by allowing the buyer to rent the house for an agreed amount of time until they build up enough equity to qualify for a bank loan and own the house. The advantage of this situation is that you can move in without substantial upfront costs. It also provides an agreement on the final purchase price of the property.
If you decide to proceed, the price you pay is contractually set and the rent paid reduces the remaining balance. If you decide not to buy you can walk away with no further commitments. Rich Harvey, CEO of propertybuyer.com.au, one of Sydney’s leading buyer advocacies says:
“The big advantage of this option is that you can get into your own home, without saving up a substantial deposit. However, you must be careful not to fall behind in rent and any other payments as you may lose the option to buy at the end of the lease."
2. Shared ownership
Buying a property with family or friends is a great way to get your foot in the door. This is a particularly good strategy for single people as they can partner with a sibling or friend to help with their first property purchase. Property share mortgages are offered by many Australian lenders. Shared ownership can help all parties raise the money for a deposit in a shorter time and reduces the mortgage for your portion of the property.
No matter how close you are to the other parties, establishing a contractual agreement is vital. This helps to avoid or mediate any future disagreements when selling the property, renegotiating the agreement, or buying each other out.
3. Parental assistance
While not an option for everyone, the bank of mum and dad is another great way to give you a leg up on the property ladder. Family can often help with the initial deposit or by leveraging the equity in their own property for the deposit. With interest rates at their lowest for more than 50 years, there are some great rates and parent assist products available.
The best thing to do is to compare rates from all the lenders. Talk to a broker or use Canstar to get started.
4. Get out of town
Buying in the capital cities can seem impossible. By heading out of town you’ll find that prices are more affordable. Just make sure you do your homework as regional towns are often hardest hit if the market declines. It can also be more difficult to find work in regional areas, or you may need to commute further into the city if you decide to keep your job.
If you can’t afford to buy in the suburbs that you want to live in, you could consider ‘rentvesting’. This is where you rent where you want to live, and buy where you can afford. Your purchase is then rented out to someone who helps cover the mortgage.
It allows you to step into the property market, without necessarily having to upend your whole life as you can continue to live in the area you want to.
While these tips are not going to suit every first home buyer, they are suggestions for looking at the property journey differently. Hopefully some of these suggestions might help you with your first big purchase.
Whether you are renting it out in SA or living in your own home in WA, make sure you protect your home with the right type of house insurance for you. NRMA offers home insurance policies across Australia.