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:
Smart Booster Home Loan
- Discount variable for 1 year <=80% LVR
- No ongoing fees
- Unlimited redraw facility
Monthly repayments: $1,476
- Discount variable for 1 year
- No ongoing fees
- Unlimited redraw facility
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%. If products listed have an LVR <80%, they will be clearly identified in the product name along with the specific LVR. The product and rate must be clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments were calculated based on the selected products’ advertised rates, applied to a $400,000 loan with a 30-year loan term.
The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:
- The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
- The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
- The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
- If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au
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.
In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.
*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may inﬂuence the cost of the loan.
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