Why 2020 is the year of the first home buyers and property investors

2020 may be the year of the rat, but it seems Aussies with this zodiac aren’t the only lucky ones. 

First home buyers could be up for just as prosperous of a year, with new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suggesting they’ve already got a promising foot in the property market door. 

According to ABS data, while lending to first home buyers dipped by 0.9% in November last year compared to October, the total number of first home buyer loans recorded during the fourth quarter of 2019 (Sept-Nov) was actually 7.3% higher than a year ago. 

“Last year, all the right ingredients came together to create the perfect storm for first home buyers, including three RBA cuts and the loosening of APRA’s serviceability restrictions,” Mozo’s property expert Steve Jovevski explained. 

“I suspect the reason for the ‘dip’ in November is just because first home buyers were holding off to see whether they could apply for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme once it rolled out in January.” 

What the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme will mean for first home buyers

Jovcevski predicted 2020 will be an even bigger year for Aussies scouring for their dream first home - with the popularity of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme expected to drive up competition in the first home buyers sector. 

Just in case you aren’t aware, the scheme allows up to 10,000 Aussie borrowers with a 5% deposit to dodge Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) - a fee charged when you borrow below 80% of the property value - while the government guarantees the remaining 15% deposit. 

“We’ve already seen a lot of interest around the scheme, with the allocated spots filling up fast. With the scheme going on, the area of the market that it occupies could start to move up, and this may pressure other first home buyers to hop onto the bandwagon as well,” Jovcevski said.

“More and more first home buyers may start to get into the market because they’re concerned that prices will go up. They’re also concerned that interest rates will keep decreasing, and don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to secure a competitive home loan.” 

“These factors could all add up to create a boom in first home buyers this year.” 

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 home loans worth switching to in 2020 

The race up the property ladder 

The rush to join the property market could be a wise move, with Jovcevski pointing out that first home buyers will need to get in quick before herds of property investors barge in and take over by mid-year. 

The latest ABS data shows the number of investment loans was already increasing in November last year, up by 2.2% compared to the previous month - although growth overall remained modest, with the total value of lending still sitting at around half the level it was in 2015. 

Jovcevski predicted this upward trend in investment loans is set to continue in 2020. 

“As the year goes on, more and more investors will come back into the market. Generally you’ll find that a lot of those investors have more borrowing capacity than the first home buyers, so they’ll eventually win out,” he said. 

“That’s why first home buyers need to get in the sooner, the better - especially for the Sydney and Melbourne markets - before investors become more active in the market and start to take away their ability to buy the properties.” 

What’s next? 

Eager to snatch up your first home sooner rather than later? Jovcevski shared a few tips and tricks: 

1. Get a guarantor: 

If you haven’t saved up a 20% deposit just yet, then the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme could be worth a shot. While more than 1,000 first home buyers have already applied for the scheme with CommBank, applications with the smaller lenders won’t begin until February 1, so there’s still time to grab a spot for yourself. 

But if you don’t qualify for the scheme, there’s still another way to avoid LMI: asking your parents or guardians to put their name beside yours on a home loan application as a guarantor. Just bear in mind that since their home is secured against your loan, it’s vital to keep on top of your repayments. 

2. Boost your borrowing capacity: 

Get your finances in order, so that you can maximise the amount you’re able to borrow. This could mean cutting down on your expenses - from eating out less often to lowering your energy bill - as much as possible, before applying for a home loan. 

3. Dodge the competition: 

Looking for a Sydney property valued at $700,000? Hot tip: If you don’t qualify for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which caps the property value threshold at $700,000 for NSW, then you may be better off aiming for a slightly more expensive house or apartment because there’s potentially less competition in that higher band. 

According to Jovcevski, “although you may have to pay LMI and higher stamp duty for a pricier property, it may be cheaper overall because you’re getting a better deal.” 

4. Give haggling a go: 

Jovcevski noted that some parts of the market currently have an oversupply - in other words, too many vacant apartments, and not enough buyers. This could be a great opportunity for you to put on your negotiation cap and snag a better deal! If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our guide on how to haggle like a pro

Ready to dive into the property market and purchase the home of your dreams? Get started with these first home loan deals below, or head over to our home loans comparison table to compare even more options.

Compare first home loans - rates updated daily

Search promoted home loans below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
  • placeholder
    Fixed Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.88% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    2.89% p.a.

    This home loan is available for purchase or refinance, complete with 1, 2 or 3 year fixed rate options. Minimum 10% deposit required.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Well Balanced

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <90%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.52% p.a. variable
    2.55% p.a.

    A great value low rate home loan for variable owner occupiers. Free extra repayments and free redraw facility. No ongoing fees. Option for a split account available. Up to 90% LVR. Winner of the Offset Home Loan Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Back to Basics Special

    LVR<90%, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.59% p.a. variable
    2.60% p.a.

    No monthly account keeping fee, no ongoing annual fee and no loan establishment fee on new lending of $150,000 or more. Get a $2,000 cash bonus when you refinance with an eligible Suncorp Bank Home Loan of $250k+. T&Cs & eligibility criteria apply. Minimum 10% deposit.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Discount Great Rate Home Loan (Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest)

    LVR<80%, over $150k

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    3.35% p.a.

    Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage. Available with just a 10% deposit. Guarantor option available. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only. Mozo Experts Choice Awards - Home Lender Bank of the Year 2020.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Low Rate Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, 80-90% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.59% p.a. variable
    2.61% p.a.

    Get smart, flexible and cost-effective rates from homeloans.com.au. Complimentary 100% offset account and free online redraw. Unlimited additional repayments. Zero application or annual fees. Fast online application process. Only 10% deposit required.

    Go to site
    Details

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

**Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate, loan amount and term entered. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loans Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.