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The Upwards Swing of Owner-Occupiers

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its latest housing finance data, showing heightened activity from upgraders, down-sizers and first home buyers. Looking at the graph below, during the 2012-2017 period, owner occupiers made up 13.10% and first home buyers made up 46.30%. This group (excluding refinancing) averaged at 59.40% of the overall value commitments, with the remaining (40.60%) being investors.

Over the past 7 months, during the June to November 2019 period, the owner-occupier and first home buyer groups have risen to 71.4%, an increase of 12%. This leaves the investors sitting at 28.60% during this period.

It is important to note that the data comparisons are not equal time periods, and investor participation may increase over the coming years.


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Interestingly, demographics may be playing a role in the rise of this group. The ABS data suggests that of the first home buyer cohort, nearly half of this group fell into the age bracket of 25-34 during the 2017 to 2018 time period.


Due to the growing millennial age group, the owner occupier and first home buyer cohorts are expected to increase over the coming years. Furthermore, the reduced mortgage rates, easier borrowing requirements and government schemes may have further impacted the increase in these buyers over the past seven months.