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Australian home buyers prepared to wait for lower prices

Nearly eight in 10 Australians are prepared to wait for house prices to fall further before jumping back into the market, according to new data.

A survey of more than 1000 people by money.com.au found that 79 per cent would wait and try and buy a property at a lower price if they were looking.

Across the country, NSW, ACT and Victorian residents (79, 80 and 79 per cent respectively) were the most likely to actively wait to try and buy at a lower price point, while 76 per cent of Queenslanders, 75 per cent of South Australians and 78 per cent of West Australians were prepared to hold out for a lower priced home.

Nearly half of respondents of the survey (43 per cent) said they would hold off on purchasing a property for a few months as they expect prices to continue to fall as opposed to taking other measures to try and secure a more affordable home.

Licensed financial adviser and spokesperson for money.com.au, Helen Baker, told news.com.au that if too many people sit and wait, prices will eventually just start to rise again.

“Ironically, if 43 per cent of buyers try to time the market and enter the market all at once, prices will bounce back quickly,” Ms Baker said.

Ms Baker said Queensland was a good example of what can happen when buyers all rush in to try and buy at the same time.

“The last two years have led to a significant increase in internal migration to the Sunshine State, while many residents in Sydney and Melbourne have also migrated to the regions,” Ms Baker said. 

“These movements have increased demand and could continue driving up prices in these areas.”

Respondents were asked to specify the actions they would take – from a list of five – to help them purchase a property at a lower price point.

Overall, 12 per cent said they would purchase a smaller home and 11 per cent would buy in a lower-priced area.

Other steps respondents indicated they would take included buying an older home that required updates (9 per cent), and buying a property with family to create a multi-generational home (4 per cent).

As for why home buyers prefer to hold-off on buying a home as opposed to purchasing a cheaper home that’s older or smaller, Ms Baker said convenience as well as not having to spend extra for renovations, is why many are waiting and avoiding the alternative options.

“(Buying a property) is one of your biggest commitments and I think home buyers just want to get the right place and do it once,” she said.

“I think people are just waiting for something that’s all done for them. 

“They can just walk in, and life’s easy.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.