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First-home buyers choosing pets over family

First-home buyers would rather have more space for a pet than be close to their family, according to new research.

New CommBank research has revealed two in five (38 per cent) first-home buyers said space for a pet was extremely important when purchasing their first property, compared to just under a quarter (23 per cent) who ranked proximity to family as extremely important. 

When looking at the top priorities for first-home buyers and what they consider to be important when purchasing a property, the top ranked non-negotiable was property price, with 69 per cent saying it was extremely important for the property to be within their budget. 

Location of the property (57 per cent) and type of property (52 per cent) were also extremely important, followed by size of the property (41 per cent) and space for a pet (38 per cent).

CommBank’s Executive General Manager Home Buying, Michael Baumann, said the research showed that while first home buyers do have their property “wish list”, they are willing to make compromises to achieve their goal of property ownership sooner.

“The ‘Great Australian Dream’ or aspiration of owning a home continues to remain strong among young Aussies who currently don’t own a property, with almost three quarters agreeing buying their first home is one of their biggest financial goals,” Dr Baumann said.

“This desire to enter the property market also means that first-home buyers are prepared to be realistic. 

“We found that close to nine in 10 are willing to compromise on their wish list in order to purchase a home sooner.”

The research found that first-home buyers are also willing to make sacrifices to get into a home they want, with 81 per cent planning to cut down on social outings including nights out, social activities and dates. 

While Christmas and birthday gifts could also be reduced, with two in five (40 per cent) first-home buyers saying they are willing to give up gifts for others to save quicker.

When it comes to saving for a deposit, more than three quarters (79 per cent) of first-home buyers said they are prepared to cut back on non-essentials to help them save quicker, while seven in 10 (71 per cent) said they would consider following a strict budget.

A further 58 per cent said they would access government schemes and just under one in 10 (9 per cent) said they would consider buying with a friend.

“We know that saving for a deposit can be one of the biggest hurdles for first-home buyers,” Dr Baumann said.

“However, there are opportunities for first home buyers to enter the property market sooner. 

“In particular, schemes like the Government’s Home Guarantee Scheme, which comprises the First Home Guarantee, the Family Home Guarantee and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee, can enable first home buyers to secure their first home sooner and invest in their futures.”

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Rowan Crosby

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