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One in five first-time buyers considering crossing the border to enter property market

First-time homebuyers are increasingly looking outside their own back yards in an attempt to get a foothold in the property market, with many considering purchasing interstate, according to new research from comparison site Finder.

Data from Finder’s First Home Buyers Report 2021, which surveyed 1028 first-home buyers, found 20 per cent of  prospective homeowners were searching for their first property in a different state to the one they currently reside in.

The figures mean there are an estimated 2362 Australians a month who are prepared to buy in another state in order to enter the property market.

According to the survey, first-home buyers from New South Wales were the most likely to consider moving interstate, with 24 per cent saying they would consider buying a property in another state.

By comparison, 19 per cent of Queenslanders and 17 per cent of Victorians surveyed said they would contemplate moving interstate to secure their first home.

Finder’s home loans expert Sarah Megginson said many prospective buyers were being lured by the prospect of cheaper property across state borders.

“Some first-home buyers are looking at real estate in other parts of the country where prices are more affordable, with many feeling the pressure to buy while interest rates are low,” Ms Megginson said.

“The impact of COVID-19 has also caused a spike in demand for regional properties, as residents in Sydney and Melbourne consider swapping city living for more of a laidback lifestyle.”

Ms Megginsonn said soaring property prices had put additional pressure on first-time buyers, with many finding themselves priced out of their own cities.

“This is where an interstate move can work to your advantage as a prospective buyer,” she said.

“Even if you’re not keen to move, a rentvesting strategy – where you buy a more affordable home in a different location and continue renting where you want to live – offers a way to get your foot on the property ladder,” she continued.

Finder’s First Home Buyers Report 2021 also found that men (24 per cent) were more likely than women (17 per cent) to be considering an interstate move to get into the property market. 

According to CoreLogic, the median sale price for a house has reached $1,030,000 in Sydney, followed by $806,000 in Melbourne.

Ms Megginson said buyers should not to take action too hastily, and only purchase a home when they’re financially ready.

“You’re better off spending a few more months getting your finances into shape and waiting until you can comfortably afford your mortgage repayments, regardless of what other people might be doing.

“Focus on your own timeline. Think about things you can do to cut costs and speed up your deposit savings.

“If you’re still keen to buy sooner rather than later, purchasing interstate could be for you.”

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