Data from the ABS shows that as at August 2019, first home buyers comprised 29.8% of the national market for owner occupier home loans; the highest level of participation since 2012.

The rising trend is consistent across every state with FHBs being most active in the Northern Territory and Western Australia where this segment of the market comprises 45% and 37% respectively of owner occupier mortgage demand. These are also the two regions where housing values have fallen the most, providing a substantial improvement to housing affordability.

FHBs in Victoria represent 33% of the market; ACT and NSW 28% each; QLD 27%; TAS 24% and SA 22%.

Reasons for the uplift are the improvement in affordability because of the recent housing downturn, lower interest rates, a relaxation of lending assessment criteria while some states have provided additional incentives by way of stamp duty concessions and grants. There is also less competition from investors following APRA’s tough stance in 2015 when investor mortgage demand exceeded the 40% benchmark.