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One in five first home buyers take a year to buy a property

Tight supply and rapidly rising prices has seen many first home buyers taking more than two years to purchase a property.

According to Finder’s First Home Buyer Report 2022, it takes more than a year for 18 per cent of first home buyers to finally buy a property.

Those numbers get even worse for Gen Xers, with 17 per cent of buyers taking more than two years to secure a home.

Money expert at Finder, Sarah Megginson, said the lack of housing supply in some areas forced buyers to fiercely compete with each other and pushed out purchase times.

“The market is cooling and competition is easing off slightly, but it can still be daunting to go to inspections and auctions where you have several interested buyers,” Ms Megginson said.

“It’s a house, not a pair of pants – so you have to really make sure it fits before you sign.

“You’ll be stuck with it for a while, and you don’t want buyer’s remorse to sink in after it’s too late.”

The survey of 1,001 first home buyers in Australia found 39 per cent of first home buyers took between three and six months for the entire home buying process, while 26 per cent took three months or less.

While 22 per cent of women are considerably more likely than men (13 per cent) to have spent more than a year on the home-buying process.

Between the generations, Gen Z are the quickest buyers, with 30 per cent taking three months or less, compared to 28 per cent of millennials and 17 per cent of Gen X.

Ms Megginson said there were things buyers could do to increase their chance of success.

“Before making an offer, it’s a good idea to have a home loan pre-approval,” she said.

“With pre-approval, you’ll be considered a preferred buyer. It will also shorten the time to approval once you’ve found a property.

“Remember that most pre-approvals only last three months, so if you haven’t found a property by then you’ll likely need to apply for another one.”

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Rowan Crosby

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