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First home buyers flood back to market across Australia as house seekers camp out at new estates

Australians are camping out at new estates to snap up a block of land as demand skyrockets and national house prices surge by the fastest pace in 18 years. 

New housing developments have been inundated with hopeful buyers in recent weeks, with some even resorting to setting up campervans in a bid to get their hands on a highly sought after lot.

Others have taken to sleeping in their cars in nearby parking spaces to make sure they are front of the queue when blocks of land go up for sale. 

Pictures from land releases at the Catherine Park Estate, in Sydney’s south-west, show long queues of interested property owners as first home buyers flood back into the market to take advantage of low interest rates and government incentives.

But it comes as the latest Real Estate Institute of Australia’s latest Housing Affordability Report shows housing affordability –  the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments –  is on the decline nationally.

Tim Caruana (pictured) was first in the queue for Catherine Park Estate's Hampton Court release after he camped out in his campervan for a total of four last month

Tim Caruana (pictured) was first in the queue for Catherine Park Estate's Hampton Court release after he camped out in his campervan for a total of four last month

Tim Caruana (pictured) was first in the queue for Catherine Park Estate’s Hampton Court release after he camped out in his campervan for a total of four last month

The Catherine Park Estate in Sydney's south-west has proven to be a popular development, with long queues (pictured) as new blocks of land are released

The Catherine Park Estate in Sydney's south-west has proven to be a popular development, with long queues (pictured) as new blocks of land are released

The Catherine Park Estate in Sydney’s south-west has proven to be a popular development, with long queues (pictured) as new blocks of land are released 

The proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increased to 34.8 per cent or 0.9 percentage points in the quarter to December 2020, REIA President Adrian Kelly said. 

‘The market defied the doomsday predictions with median house prices rising across the country in 2020 with demand driven mostly from first home buyers,’ he said. 

‘Australian first home buyers increased their market share by 50.4 per cent over 2020, motivated by low interest rates and the range of first-home buyer incentives on offer.’ 

Mr Kelly said the decline in affordability is largely attributable to higher house prices and larger loans and warned housing affordability could potentially be obliterated in coming months.

‘Seeing this trend in conversion to home ownership is particularly great news given the challenges many tenants and investors faced over the pandemic however surging house prices could see housing affordability obliterated unless measures to improve supply are implemented. This particularly applies to regional parts of Australia,’ he said. 

Blocks of land at Catherine Park Estate, being developed by Harrington Estates, have been snapped up within hours of being released, including 34 of 36 lots being sold by 2pm on February 20.  

Harrington Estate Managing Director Terry Goldacre said the demand is a result of Sydney’s south-west being an increasingly popular choice for buyers.

‘We were very pleased with the result but were unsurprised given the level of enquiries we have received,’ he said. 

Blocks of land at the Catherine Park Estate development (pictured) have been snapped up within hours of their release

Blocks of land at the Catherine Park Estate development (pictured) have been snapped up within hours of their release

Blocks of land at the Catherine Park Estate development (pictured) have been snapped up within hours of their release

Australian house prices have surged by the fastest pace in 18 years - with values climbing by 2.1 per cent, the fastest since August 2003. Sydney's median house price last month climbed by an even more impressive 3 per cent. Pictured is an upmarket house at Woollahra

Australian house prices have surged by the fastest pace in 18 years - with values climbing by 2.1 per cent, the fastest since August 2003. Sydney's median house price last month climbed by an even more impressive 3 per cent. Pictured is an upmarket house at Woollahra

Australian house prices have surged by the fastest pace in 18 years – with values climbing by 2.1 per cent, the fastest since August 2003. Sydney’s median house price last month climbed by an even more impressive 3 per cent. Pictured is an upmarket house at Woollahra

Tim Caruana, who camped out in his campervan for a total of four days to secure two blocks at the housing development, said while the idea may seem crazy he saw it as the best opportunity to secure a lot in the highly sought-after estate.  

Sydney’s median house price soared by an impressive three per cent last month, marking a dramatic turnaround from 2020 as Covid shutdowns hurt Australia’s biggest real estate market. 

The mid-point price for a home with a backyard now stands at $1.061million. 

Nationwide, capital city and regional property prices climbed by 2.1 per cent in February – the steepest monthly increase since August 2003, CoreLogic data has revealed. 

Melbourne remarkably also posted above-average growth with median house prices rising by 2.4 per cent to $829,509.

Property price records were set in 53 out of Australia’s 88 statistical regions, including Warrnambool in south-west Victoria which recorded a four per cent surge as values on Sydney’s upmarket Northern Beaches climbed 3.9 per cent.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said median house and apartment prices in Australia’s two biggest cities were on the verge of hitting new record highs.

‘Whether this newfound growth in Sydney and Melbourne can be sustained is unclear,’ he said.

‘Both cities are still recording values below their earlier peaks however at this current rate of appreciation, it won’t be long before Australia’s two most expensive capital city markets are moving through new record highs.’

Melbourne remarkably also posted above-average growth with median house prices rising by 2.4 per cent to $829,509. Pictured is a house on the market at South Melbourne

Melbourne remarkably also posted above-average growth with median house prices rising by 2.4 per cent to $829,509. Pictured is a house on the market at South Melbourne

Melbourne remarkably also posted above-average growth with median house prices rising by 2.4 per cent to $829,509. Pictured is a house on the market at South Melbourne

Australian median house prices surge in February

Sydney: up 3 per cent to $1.061million

Melbourne: up 2.4 per cent to $829,509

Canberra: up 2.2 per cent to $797,421

Brisbane: up 1.6 per cent to $593,232 

Hobart: up 2.5 per cent to $572,188

Perth: up 1.6 per cent to $513,566

Adelaide: up 0.8 per cent to $509,148

Darwin: up 1.3 per cent $508,410 

Source: CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index for February 2021 

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CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said preliminary auction clearance rates of 81.9 per cent suggested property prices would keep booming.

‘Can home prices lift further from here? Absolutely,’ he said.

House prices last month rose in every capital city as a result of record-low interest rates, an economic recovery from the coronavirus shutdowns and low supply levels on the market.

Hobart’s median price climbed by 2.5 per cent in February to $572,188.

The Tasmanian capital is now only marginally cheaper than Brisbane, where mid-point house prices rose by 1.6 per cent to $593,232, and is pricier than Perth, where median house prices increased 1.6 per cent to $513,566.

Australia’s most southern capital city is also dearer than Adelaide, where house prices edged up 0.8 per cent to $509,148 and Darwin, where mid-point house prices rose 1.3 per cent to $508,410.

Canberra values surged by 2.2 per cent in one month, with median house prices in the national capital now standing at $797,421.

Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News

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