Geelong house prices rise as more first-home buyers encouraged into the market

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First-home buyers Josh and Jenna Exton with their dog Vinnie after a Geelong auction. Picture: Mike Dugdale

THE rise in first-home buyers purchasing properties in Geelong has coincided with a $50,000 jump in house prices, new analysis shows.

Taxpayer subsidies, including $20,000 grants for building new houses and stamp duty concessions worth up to $31,000, has resulted in the number of first-home buyers in the Geelong region nearly doubling between 2017 and 2018.

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First-home buyers traditionally compete with investors in the more affordable price brackets in Geelong. Picture: Alan Barber

And the sector has been the target of more support under a plan formulated by the Coalition and matched by Labor, where first-home buyers need only a 5 per cent deposit for a loan compared to the usual 20 per cent to avoid paying mortgage insurance.

According to State Government figures, there were 719 first-home buyers purchasing existing homes in Geelong in 2017. One year later that number had jumped to 1217.

There was also a 33 per cent jump in the number of first-time buyers electing to build in the 2017/18 financial year to 721.

But that figure has already been eclipsed this year, and there’s still two months to go.

While the subsidies have encouraged more buyers to enter the market, new figures from property analysts CoreLogic the median house price in Greater Geelong climbed 32 per cent since 2017 to $532,500.

Geelong agent Nick Lord said conditions had become more favourable for first-home buyers.

Maxwell Collins, Geelong agent Nick Lord said conditions have become more favourable for first-home buyers as investors started to wane.

We’ve seen investors start to slow up and that’s give more opportunity for first-home buyers to secure a property,” he said.

“Be it at auction or private sale, they’ve not have the competition at that bottom end because typically the first-home buyer market and investor market are probably competing against each other.”

Mr Lord said Geelong’s rising market until recently also provided impetus for first-time buyers to make a move earlier in order to beat the rising prices.

Higher prices in Melbourne was also a catalyst for more Melbourne buyers, especially ones with no previous ties to Geelong to look in the region for an affordable first home.

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