First home buyers are increasingly choosing to buy an investment property ahead of a place to live in, agents say.
Some are being tempted by the increasing affordability of the Sydney property market. The relatively low prices in outer suburban areas and increasing rents mean an attractive yield.
Such investors are choosing to live in rental properties closer to the city, giving them the flexibility to move more regularly or work overseas.
Others would rather stay at home and get a financial leg-up from mum and dad so they can afford the house or apartment they want later on.
Douglas Driscoll, the chief executive of Starr Partners Real Estate, which has more than 20 offices across the west and north-west Sydney, said the number of these investors was increasing to the point where it could no longer be ignored.
Several months ago, his company started targeting them on social media, offering advice from his younger agents who had done the same thing.
“We’ve created a Facebook campaign targeting young people who’ve got relatively deep pockets, done very well but don’t know how to [invest],” Mr Driscoll said.
“We wouldn’t be facilitating anything like that if we didn’t believe there wasn’t a genuine market for it.
“It consistutes probably less than 1 per cent of our total transactions but it is a trend that is starting to emerge, albeit in its early days.”
He said more affordable suburbs were proving the most popular for these first-timers, such as St Marys, Parramatta and Blacktown. Close to the city, first-time investors are also looking at Waterloo and Alexandria.
Angus Raine, the chief executive of Raine and Horne, said buying an investment property made sense for many first home buyers because they could usually rent five or six suburbs closer to the city than they could afford to buy in.
“You can buy an investment property anywhere and you can get the tax concessions that go along with that; the yields are good and the rents are increasing because of the supply and demand issue,” he said. “Then you can choose to rent closer in to your place of work, which is one of the main considerations.”
A mortgage adviser with Smartline mortgage brokers, Miriam Castilla, said first home buyers could usually borrow more for an investment property than for a property in which to live.
And presuming their income increases, and they could afford another deposit, they could still buy their own property later and apply for the $15,000 First Home Owner Grant (on new property).
“If they do not live in the new [investment] property for a period of six or more months, they will still qualify for the first home owner grant down the track when they are ready to buy the home they do want to live in,” she said.
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