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First-home buyers turning attention to homes requiring renovations

First-home buyers are increasingly looking for fixer-uppers to get a foothold in the property market, with four in five Australians planning to renovate their ‘new’ home after purchasing.

More than half of first-time buyers intend to renovate their home within a year of moving in, with 22 per cent planning to do so immediately, according to a recent survey by comparison site Finder.

According to Finder’s First Home Buyers Report 2021, which surveyed 1028 first-time buyers, 79 per cent are already planning to renovate their new home.

The research found more than one in five (22 per cent) planned to renovate immediately after buying, with 30 per cent intending to do so within the first 12 months.

A further 23 per cent of respondents said they would undertake a home makeover within the first five years, and 5 per said they intended to renovate six or more years down the line.

Finder’s home loans expert Sarah Megginson said that the property boom had instilled a fear of missing out among prospective first-time buyers.

“With property prices showing no signs of slowing down, and interest rates at an all-time low, first-home buyers are getting creative with different tactics to get into the market,” Ms Megginson said.

“In a hot market, it’s not always possible to buy your ideal home, let alone your dream home. 

“What some first home buyers are finding is that their best chance to get on the property ladder is by purchasing a ‘fixer-upper’ in a suitable suburb.”

In cities, 82 per cent of first-home buyers surveyed said they intended to renovate sometime down the line, compared with 75 per cent of those living regionally.

Ms Megginson said the increased time people spent in their houses over the past year due to the pandemic and working from home had also fuelled an increase in renovations.

“Along with government incentives to renovate like the HomeBuilder scheme, which expired last month, this has led to a boom in home makeovers,” Ms Megginson said.

The data showed men were more intent on renovating than women, with 85 per cent of male respondents planning some form of renovations in the future, compared with 74 per cent of women.

On average, Australians spent $63,118 per renovation project last year, with kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas being the projects of choice.

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