Housing affordability is a hot topic at the moment. Yesterday it was reported that out of all the capital cities in Australia, Canberra experienced the biggest jump in home values in May.
I’m currently looking to buy my first home, and it’s not an easy task. I’ve experienced a lot of competitiveness both at open homes and even before an open home has taken place. I’ve seen sale listings go up online in the morning, with the open home listed for later in the week, and by the afternoon the property is already under offer.
I’m not sure whether this is entirely legal, but I’ve seen it happen on several occasions in the last 12 months. I’ve even arrived at an open home and the agent has told me the property has already been sold (which hasn’t been specified online), but that they’re still allowing people in to look around.
The majority of homes on the market are listed for auction which makes me a bit uneasy – my own inexperience, nerves, and pressure wouldn’t bode well at an auction for a house I really want. Generally I don’t even look at auction listings.
I recently decided to stop telling real estate agents I’m a first home buyer, as I found that this made them more likely to not return my calls and emails. I want to buy in an established suburb, which disqualifies me for the first home owner grant, unless of course I manage to find a vacant block of land and build on it, so I think agents were just assuming that without the grant I wouldn’t be able to buy anything in the areas I wanted and that answering my queries would be a waste of their time.
I see plenty of homes in established suburbs that I can afford without the grant (though the grant would make things easier). However, I never get the chance to put an offer in as it’s always snapped up before I even get to inspect the whole house. Of course, it would be much easier for me to buy in a new suburb off the plan, but I don’t want to do this. Call me crazy, but I don’t like the idea of committing to buying a house in a suburb that doesn’t exist yet, or is half finished. I like to know exactly what I’m getting into.
The ACT Budget will be handed down this afternoon and many first home buyers have their fingers crossed that the first home owner grant will be reverted to all homes in all suburbs. Given this change was implemented two years ago, I’m not holding my breath for things to go back to how they were.
It’s not all bad news though, with pre-Budget announcements showing that stamp duty will be reduced further with the buyer of a $300,000 home saving about $2900, the buyer of a $500,000 home saving $5900, and the buyer of a $750,000 home saving $7775.
In addition to this, first home buyers, eligible pensioners and people over 60 years of age will qualify for the concessional stamp duty rate of just $20.00.
While the stamp duty reductions aren’t exorbitant, I’m sure most will welcome the news. As for the concession stamp duty rate of $20.00, it’s hard to complain about that.
When did you buy your first home in Canberra? Or are you currently in the market for a new home?