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Is this the future for first homebuyers?

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New house and land combinations may become even more attractive for homebuyers on a strict budget in 2015.

While the vast majority of first homebuyers generally opt for established properties, the expected continued growth in their asking prices may propel more to consider taking up the newer versions in Australia’s outer urban fringes, according to the Housing Industry Association.

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HIA chief economist Harley Dale says near record low interest rates will fuel price growth in the established market, especially on the eastern seaboard, though it may not be as strong as in the last two years.

“Slowing growth still means an increase in value and it is likely that median residential dwelling prices will be higher at the end of this year than at the start,” Mr Dale says.

“Prices of new housing are growing at a slower pace than existing dwellings. This means new housing in the foreseeable future represents better value for money. Plus they offer modern finishes and energy efficiency, which most established homes don’t.”

Around 183,856 new homes are expected to be built in 2015.

Around 183,856 new homes are expected to be built in 2015.

New home and land combinations (typically a 232sqm house on 420sqm of land) in Melbourne’s outer west (Melton) can still be obtained for less than $320,000.

In Sydney’s northwest (Ropes Crossing and Jordan Springs) and southwest growth corridors (Oran Park and Leppington) prospective homebuyers can find house and land packages priced between $500,000 and $570,000.

The economist says despite the expected slowdown in price growth 2015 is shaping up to be one of the strongest years for home building on record.

A whopping 183,856 new homes are expected to be built.

In the 2014 calendar year Australia built a record number – 188,024 – of new homes.

The economist says there is a mix of good and bad news for first homebuyers because continuing low interest rates are fuelling housing demand but also driving up house prices.

“We are facing the strong prospect that already very low borrowing costs will remain in play for all of 2015, and interest rates may even fall a tad further,’’ Mr Dale says.

“This environment will support further growth in residential dwelling prices this year. ’’

Mr Dale says the rate of growth in prices slowed in the second half of 2014 when compared to the first half, but gains in Sydney and Melbourne were still very healthy, followed increasingly by a recovering Brisbane market.

But that pricing strength is not reflected outside the major urban areas.

“Prices in a majority of regional centres have not been growing at the same pace as the eastern seaboard capitals,” Mr Dale says.

“Household incomes have been flat to a little bit lower in 2014, when adjusting for inflation. This factor has been a primary driver of the slowdown in the pace of growth in prices. Incomes simply haven’t been keeping up.

“This dynamic is expected to continue in 2015. Slowing growth still means an increase in value and it is likely that median residential dwelling prices will be higher at the end of this year than at the start.”


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