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Who’s got your back when you buy a house?

By Andrew Bell

Going up against ever-increasing property prices can seem a bit like the myth of Sisyphus – every time you save up to the point that would get you over the line, the prices increase and you have to start again. Until prices deflate, it might continue seeming like a huge task to get a good deposit together so you can avoid lenders mortgage insurance and buy a home with your best foot forward.

For example, My RP Data figures show that over the 12 months to 16 April, the median price for a house in Surfers Paradise was a little more than $1.1million – probably out of the range of many buyers. However, you're not alone in the hunt for affordability. There are many bodies trying to help out house hunters, particularly first home buyers. 

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ)

Having been around since 1918, the REIQ has nearly a century of experience as the primary association for the real estate industry. By advocating for people on matters concerning real estate, it has become a go-to voice for authoritative comments on property. And they're right in the corner of the first home buyer. 

According to a 23 March press release from the body, the First Home Owner grant needs to be expanded. At the moment, it only applies to first home buyers who are purchasing a brand new piece of property, or are buying land to construct their own one. However, REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella thinks that this grant needs to extend to all Queenslanders buying their first home. 

"We believe it was a short-sighted move to restrict first home owner grants to new home purchases, but there's a real opportunity now to put that right," she said in the statement. 

"The current two-tiered system favouring one class of homebuyer over another has simply resulted in thousands of Queenslanders being locked out of the residential real estate market."

A level playing field seems ideal, especially if people wish to buy existing real estate in Surfers Paradise. Clearly, the REIQ is backing the first time buyer to be able to afford this.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

That's right, the RBA is in your corner when you want to buy a first property in Surfers Paradise. At least, that's what their moves on the cash rate would suggest. When the board of the RBA cut the official cash rate back in February this year, it was followed by interest rates on home loans reaching their lowest levels since 1968 according to Tim Lawless from RP Data. 

Consequently, it became much more appetising to take out a mortgage and buy a home. The RBA has since held the cash rate steady, but the BBC reports that even the International Monetary Fund have been reported as saying further cuts may be necessary to stimulate growth. 

In the closing comments from Glenn Stevens, RBA governor regarding the April decision to steady the cash rate, the same point was addressed.

"Further easing of policy may be appropriate over the period ahead, in order to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation consistent with the target," he stated. Evidently, further cuts to the cash rate might be just around the corner, allowing first home buyers even more access to home loans.

With these two big bodies backing first home buyers, there is some great positivity around, despite rising house prices. It should buoy the confidence of anyone thinking about buying their first home at least a little. The dream of owning a property is likely still within reach – contact Ray White Surfers Paradise to find out what's available to you. 

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