Queensland's hottest first-home buyer suburbs
First-home buyers have been out in force despite coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns, but some suburbs have proven to be more popular than others.
The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation's (NHFIC) inaugural research report has revealed the hottest areas for buyers who secured a highly sought First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) spot.
The Scheme allows those looking to get a foot on the property ladder to purchase a home with a five per cent deposit, with the government acting as a guarantor for the remaining 15 per cent.
It means newbie purchasers avoid costly lenders mortgage insurance, which generally applies if a buyer has deposit of less than 20 per cent.
Almost 1850 FHLDS guarantees were issued in Queensland across the first six months of this year.
Seventy were provided for properties in the postcode 4350, making it the most popular area for the period. It includes, among others, the suburbs of Toowoomba, Centenary Heights, Newtown.
Fifty-six guarantees were issued for homes in the postcode 4305, which encompasses the suburbs of Ipswich, Eastern Heights, Leichhardt.
Further north, 45 properties in the postcode 4740 (Mackay, Mount Pleasant, Andergrove) were settled with the backing of the FHLDS.
The top 10 areas were rounded off with postcodes 4510 (Caboolture, Donnybrook, Bribie Island); 4209 (Coomera, Sanctuary Cove, Pimpama); 4814 (Townsville, Heatley, Vincent); 4701 (Rockhampton, Glenmore Park, Sandringham); 4818 (Burdell, Thuringowa Central, Cosgrove); 4503 (Dakabin, Murrumba Downs, Griffin), and 4300 (Springfield, Goodna, Camira).
NHFIC does not provide the exact number of guarantees issued for postcodes unless a certain number is met. It says this is due to privacy concerns.
"Demand for the Scheme in the six months to 30 June continued despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon said.
"First time buyers across age and income spectrums around the country accessed the Scheme, and we saw strong interest from buyers in outer metropolitan and regional areas."
Nationally, the data also showed one in eight first-home buyers accessed the scheme based on available settlement data.
Nearly 70 per cent of buyers using the FHLDS bought a detached house, while 25 per cent purchased an apartment and five per cent opted for a townhouse.
The Scheme shaved an average of four years off the time it would generally take to save for a home, according to the NHFIC analysis.
First-home buyers moved an average of 7.6kms from their existing residence.
Chief Economist of leading Australian property website realestate.com.au, Nerida Conisbee, said first-home buyer activity had defied expectations during the coronavirus pandemic.
"First-home buyer enquiry on realestate.com.au has consistently been well up on last year despite COVID-19. In June, email enquiry on realestate.com.au was up 151 per cent in Brisbane when compared to the same time last year," Ms Conisbee said.
Ms Conisbee said federal and state government incentives, fewer investors in the market, and slow price growth were all helping drive first-home buyer activity.
"There is a definite skew towards house and land suburbs for first-home buyers, and affordability also plays a role," she said.
"We are seeing a lot of interest in regional areas at the moment on realestate.com.au, which is partly jobs driven by mining, but also changes in the ways that people are working. The last six months has proved that living in a CBD is no longer as essential as it once was."
David Hyman, CEO of mortgage broker Lendi, said the company had also seen increased levels of activity.
Mr Hyman said the number of new first-home buyers coming to Lendi was almost 50 per cent higher in June compared to March, as customers prepared for the next round of 10,000 places in the FHLDS.
He said buyers looking for a FHLDS place would face waiting lists with the Commonwealth Bank and NAB. However, Bank Australia, Gateway Bank, Unibank, Firefighters Mutual and Health Professions were free of queues.
"While these banks don't have waitlists today, places are limited. If buyers are ready and keen to move forward, they should get moving sooner rather than later," he said.