Don’t be too picky, agent tells young home buyers

Lauren Casbolt.
Young buyers should look to outer suburbs for a foot on the property ladder, a Doncaster agent says. But buyers are reluctant to compromise. Melissa Charalambous reports.

A Doncaster real estate agent says young people are too picky with their first home, advising them to look outside strong investment locations and get into the market.

“I think that a lot of first home buyers want it all in the first one, which is unrealistic,” said Jason Salan, a Fletchers real estate agent.

“Compromise on the type of property and location is important, as well as getting into the market,” he said.

“I suggest that they buy something further out first to gain equity, it’s all about looking in different areas.”

Interviews with young people at an auction showed they were unwilling to move further out from the city, being choosy with what constituted a “good” home.

“I would rather move further out for a bigger property, but I’m not willing to go any further than Doncaster as I work long hours in the city,” said Jessica Barrios, a 28-year-old architect.

“The size of a home is also a must, as well as its distribution, all space must be accounted for.”

Barrios, 28, rents in Heidelberg with her partner Nick Cardenas. Together they can just afford a property after saving for a deposit for years, she says.

Cardenas said: “This is bad timing for us to be trying to buy a bigger home in our preferred area, sellers aren’t willing to sell at a reasonable price.

“Without support from family it’s very difficult for a young person to buy a home when considering their salary. The value of property compared to the prices being asked is unrealistic.”

Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) data shows that property prices in Doncaster have almost doubled in the past five years.

Salan says local buyers are being affected due to foreign investment:“Almost 50 per cent of sales in Doncaster are from foreign investment, property prices have skyrocketed from it becoming a strong Asian centre as these wealthy buyers can pay more.

“If I was a first home buyer I would look outside of these strong investment locations, as young people cannot afford to compete with these investors,” he said.

Chinese real estate website said the third most inquired about suburb in Australia was Doncaster, with neighbouring suburb Box Hill second.

Esther Yong, an ACProperty marketing manager, told “To own a house with large garden and backyard is always preferred by a lot of Chinese investors.

“I suppose the question is really: how big a problem do you think it is?” said Yong.

Doncaster-born Lauren Casbolt believes it is an issue. “These investors have populated (my area) immensely, therefore doubling home prices and making it difficult for me to be able to live near my family.

“Foreign investors have a place in the market (but) there needs to be more measures implemented by the government to allow young Australians the opportunity to buy their own home,” she said.

“Young people cannot afford to buy their own home anymore…as there is not enough support from the government.”

 Her solution is to buy interstate or in a country town. “I am looking at investing in other markets in Australia to be able to afford my dream home, which isn’t something traditionally you would think you had to do,” she said.

“It should be that you buy and live in a house, pay off the mortgage, then buy another house. Today it has changed.”