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First-time owners boost house market

Thursday, 14th May, 2009

The increased first home owners grant is helping stimulate a flat sales market, according to local real estate agents. Nationally, first home buyers made up a record 26.9 per cent of all loan approvals, new Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows. Broken Hill First National Proprietor/Sales Agent Zeta Bennett said a similar trend was emerging in town. "Broken Hill is no exception in my opinion.

"First home buyers are most definitely the main buyers at the moment. "They are making a bit of noise in the market." Ms Bennett said the doubling of the first home owners grant to $14,000 and the stamp duty exemption, which will apply until June, have been a saviour during the economic downturn. "It's definitely making an impact. "It's a really good deal." First home buyers were typically looking for homes within the $160,000 to $240,000 range, according to Ms Bennett.

"Generally speaking they're not interested in buying a renovation project." Clifford Wren from Ray White said he has made a number of sales to first home buyers since the increased grant was announced, but he had expected the activity to be greater. If anything the grant had stimulated interest amongst people reluctant to enter the real estate market, he said. "There's a lot more out there in the pool looking that haven't secured a property yet." Both Mr Wren and Ms Bennett agreed that vendors dropping their asking prices will help stimulate even more activity in the local market.

"People's expectations need to come back to reality," Mr Wren said. "There's people who will buy houses, but only if they come back to a realistic price. "That is partly to blame for market not being so buoyant." Ms Bennett said the tables have turned and it is now a buyer's market. "We have had downward pressure on prices and certainly vendors do need to realise that and drop their prices accordingly. "Some are realistic, others not so realistic. "They definitely do need to listen to the advice that their agents should be giving them."

There are more than 450 properties listed for sale within the local region.

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