DFA has just released the latest analysis of survey results which shows that nationally 35% of all First Time Buyers are going direct to the Investment sector. However there are significant state differences, with more than fifty percent of transactions from first time buyers in NSW, and upticks in other states as the behaviour spreads. You can watch our latest video blog on this important subject.
Here is the data we used in the video. The first chart shows the national average picture, using data from the ABS to track owner occupied first time buyers (the blue area), data from DFA surveys to display the number of FTB investment loans (the yellow area), both to be read from the left hand scale, and the relative proportion of loans using the yellow line on the right had scale. About 35% of loans are going to investment first time buyers.
There is a clear logic in households minds. They see property values appreciating in most states, yet cannot afford to buy a property for owner occupation in a place where they would want to live. So they choose the investment route. This enables them to purchase a cheaper property elsewhere by grabbing an investment loan, often interest only and serviced by the rental income. In addition they get the benefits of negative gearing and potential capital appreciation. Meantime they live in rented accommodation, or with families or friends. About ten percent of recent purchasers have received some help from “The Bank of Mum and Dad“. Finally, some see the investment route as a means to build capital for the purchase of an owner occupied property later, though others are now thinking more in terms of building an investment property portfolio. They are on the property escalator, with the expectation that prices will continue to rise.
There are some significant social impacts from this change, and there are probably more systemic risks in an investment loan portfolio, which should be considered. We are of the view that the recent APRA “guidelines” will only have impact at the margin, so we expect to see continued growth in FTB investment property purchases for as long as interest rates stay low and property values rise.