It takes first home buyers 44 hours to find a property

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on February 24, 2020
It takes first home buyers 44 hours to find a property

Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

It takes longer than the average working week for first home buyers to find their 'dream' property, according to new research from St. George.

The 2020 St. George Home Buying Survey, conducted by Lonergan Research on 1,483 Australians, found first home buyers spent 44 hours looking for their first property, and that's before even undertaking the home buying process.

This 44 hours includes spending time researching properties, looking up lenders and applying for a home loan. 

Nine in ten first home buyers believe their application process needs to catch up to the digital age, with the millennial generation twice as likely to use apps for their property search.

Eight in ten also find the application process for a home loan time consuming and inconvenient, and half are 'pained' by the overall amount of information they need to process.

The main hurdles in the buying process, according to survey respondents were:

  • Understanding what is involved (73% saying it's a major hurdle)
  • Learning about the housing market (71%)
  • Working out their financials (64%)

Time-poor first home buyers researched properties and home loans while on holiday (42%), watching TV (35%), during their lunch break (26%), and in the bathroom (11%).

This research comes after St. George launched its 'Property' app in November, which aims to match potential buyers with properties based on lifestyle factors, rather than suburb as a primary discriminator. 

Powered by Domain data and home listings, the app can also be used in lieu of the bank's paperless home loan application, which shifts the process totally online, with online support and lending experts also available.

St. George Bank general manager Ross Miller said searching by lifestyle and wish list is a potential 'game changer'.

“For example, if being beachside and close to schools is top of your list, searching by these functions may reveal a whole range of ideal properties in previously unconsidered locations and, within your price range," Mr Miller said.

“Users can prioritise commuting times, by what method of transport, proximity to bars and restaurants and even their parents’ house or schools.

"They can also set their search for what type of area they want to live in such as ‘beachy’, ‘leafy’ or city."

The app also includes a ‘Market Thermometer’ and property price estimates, to help property searchers determine if it's a good time to buy.

The survey results come after it was reported just 35-40% of homes in the market will be available to those participating in the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, under the current price caps.

Looking for your first home? The table below displays some of the lowest-rate variable home loans currently on the market for owner occupiers:

Lender

Variable
More details
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER
  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
Variable
More details
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS$5000 CASHBACK. T&Cs APPLY.
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS$5000 CASHBACK. T&Cs APPLY.

Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of May 29, 2022. View disclaimer.


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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Harrison is Savings.com.au's Assistant Editor. Prior to joining Savings in January 2020, he worked for some of Australia's largest comparison sites and media organisations. With a keen interest in the economy, housing policy, and personal finance, Harrison strives to deliver and edit news and guides that are engaging, thought-provoking, and simple to read.

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