First home buyers striking as house prices fall
After calculating it was going to take years to have enough for a first home deposit, young couple Laura Quattrocelli and her partner Sean Callanan realised they would have to think outside the box if they were ever going to realise their dream.
That’s why they decided to pack up their stuff, put it in storage and house-sit for a year across Melbourne.
“We thought we could move in with the family but then we'd have to live with the family,” Ms Quattrocelli told A Current Affair.“Then we thought, why don't we try and house-sit and it just came up that way.”
Very quickly, they had a full calendar of house-sitting jobs for the year and managed to avoid paying rent and any household expenses for 12 months.
By the end of the year, they had saved more than $25,000, which was enough for them to put down a deposit on their first home in the trendy suburb of Brunswick West.The number of first home buyers is at its highest level in Australia in 10 years. (A Current Affair)
“House-sitting had its ups and downs, it got a bit tiring, but it was definitely worth it in the end,” Ms Quatttrocelli said.
“We thought the dream of owning a home would be out of reach but once we sat down and thought about different ways to save, it was much more achievable.”
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee says first home buyers need to be more flexible than in the past.
“Raising the money for your first deposit can be really challenging but doing things a little bit outside the box can really help,” Ms Conisbee told A Current Affair.
“Whether that's taking a second job, borrowing from your parents or even just not spending as much can really make a difference.”
An increase in first home buyer’s grants has played a big role in helping young Australians break into the market.
Falling property prices has also meant more hopeful home owners have been able to afford to buy.
“Conditions are certainly getting better for first home buyers,” Mr Consibee said.
“We can certainly see a big increase in the number of finance approvals that are going to first home buyers and there’s fewer investors in the market so there's less competition for housing.”