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As the dream of owning a home fades for young buyers, more first-timers are adapting to new ways of breaking into the market.

Some are buying off the plan for an extended settlement, and others are investing in an affordable suburb while renting where they want to live.

LJ Hooker’s Youth White Paper highlights six non-traditional ways first home buyers under the age of 30 are getting their foot through the door:

Teaming up

With price growth increasingly outstripping savings, it is almost necessary to have a dual income to buy a house in Melbourne.

Teaming up with another person also means being able to share all the costs of buying a property; including stamp duty, solicitor fees, valuation fees, loan application fees and moving costs.

LJ Hooker research manager Mathew Tiller said a rising number of young buyers were teaming with a family member or a friend.

“The rising cost of property over the past few years has become a bit of an inhibitor for a single person to purchase a property they they’re going to live in, especially in Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.

“Teaming up is one of ways of getting around that affordability issue.”

Nigel O’Neil, chief executive at Hocking Stuart, has seen more unmarried couples now teaming up at an earlier stage of their relationship to buy a home in order to get a foot on the property ladder.

“As long as there is a clear exit strategy for both parties if the relationship doesn’t work out, then that can work out fine,” he said.

An individual on an average full-ti me weekly earning of $1455 would be priced out of most popular suburbs. An average couple with a dual income would open up dozens of suburbs to choose from.

Buy now, pay later

Buying off the plan means a young buyer can put down a deposit and not have to worry about mortgage repayments until construction is completed in a few years.

It allows buyers in an earlier stage of their career to lock in today’s price and keep saving over the construction period, where the property may also appreciate in value.

First home buyers should make sure they would be able to make the mortgage repayments when the property settles and hire a professional conveyancer to comb the contract.

Rise of the first-time investor

A growing number of buyers are now renting where they want to live and buying in another suburb that is more affordable.

Young investors may be able to take advantage of negative gearing tax breaks and borrow more by generating a rental income.

Looking for renovation potential

Young families could buy in their preferred suburb by buying an older smaller home and then add rooms and levels as their family grows, or when they are financially able to down the track.

Beware of buying a renovator’s delight that would cost more to do up than buying a ready-to-move-in home.

Buying new and further out

Young families and first home buyers are increasingly looking at house and land packages in new housing estates as an affordable way to get into the market.

They can also also buy vacant land in their preferred area – if there is any left – and build their dream home on it.

Leaning on mum and dad

Parents who have built up equity in their homes or own their homes outright may be able to be a guarantor on their children’s mortgage or help with the deposit.

Research by the National Australian Bank found that 6.7 per cent of first home buyers now use the NAB Family Guarantee, up from 4.8 per cent in 2010.


Posted by Christina Zhou – The Age on 22nd June, 2015