Purchasing a home is a lifelong goal for many and the current market downturn across Australia might finally be the key to unlocking the property market for first home buyers.


The market has recently recorded declines in dwelling values across all capital cities, excluding Darwin. While this may be concerning for homeowners thinking of selling their property, this market slump can be positively associated with a long-term upwards trend in the market, as short term upturns and downswings have historically contributed to an increase in property values over time.


Decreased property prices in many areas of the country have made homebuying more affordable for some, as rising interest rates have pushed house prices to decline. CoreLogic found that in times of decline, demand for loans amongst first home buyers remains strong; and the combination of government grants and lower house prices, and consequently a lower deposit, turns market downturns into an opportunity for first home buyers.


Government incentives and schemes

Various government grants and schemes are available to Australians to help in the home-buying process including:


Although there are limits on available places and income caps, these incentives are all aimed at helping home buyers purchase their first home sooner. Over the COVID-19 period, the Australian government extended the First Home Owner Grant for an additional year. A combination of low interest rates, changing living preferences, and support for households increased demand for the property market and pushed the government to provide extra support for homebuyers.


During the 2008 downturn that resulted from the Global Financial Crisis, the government introduced the First Home Buyer Boost, providing a grant of up to $21,000 for home buyers, benefiting many Australians during a difficult economic period. As house prices declined, an opportunity for new buyers to enter the market arose with a smaller deposit requirement and much needed government assistance.


As we’ve seen from previous downturns, these grants and incentives have proved helpful to home buyers and assisted many Aussies to enter the market.



Decreased property prices

With declines in property values being recorded across the country, now is an opportune time for first home buyers to purchase a property and reap the long-term benefits, as prices tend to increase over time. While rising interest rates can increase mortgage repayments, the declining value of dwellings is a positive sign for first home buyers who have a large deposit or savings. Furthermore, with properties sitting on the market for longer than usual, buyers may be able to further negotiate selling prices.


Entry into the property market looks different for everyone and is highly dependent on individual circumstances. A downturn can provide first time buyers with a chance to purchase a property with the assistance of government incentives and declining house prices. Today’s market is experiencing rising interest rates and increased mortgage repayments, but homebuyers with a decent house deposit and savings in the bank can be more prepared for the changing conditions that come with a declining market. To find your first home in today’s market, speak to your local property expert at First National Real Estate.



The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.