First-home buyers drive up clearance rates

The flood of low-interest home loans on the market and the first-home buyers grant boost have encouraged first-timers to enter their local auction houses in droves.

According to research from RP Data, clearance rates across Australia averaged 70 per cent over the last 30 days, up from 46 per cent at the end of 2008.

Research director Tim Lawless said that the data indicated that buyers are becoming more confident.

"There is an improvement in consumer confidence. Vendors are much more realistic about price expectations and buyers are also coming into the market with more realistic expectations," he told the Australian.

The Victorian home loan market showed particular buoyancy in the latest figures, with the number of monthly first-home buyer sales surpassing the 5,000 mark in the state for the first time.

Earlier this week, the Sunday Telegraph reported that property investors may be about to overtake first-home buyers as the most dominant group in the market as the end of the first-home buyers grant draws near.

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