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First home buyer numbers surge in Canberra: Andrew Wilson

A large crowd gathered in Garran to watch 37 Fitchett Street go under the hammer.A large crowd gathered in Garran to watch 37 Fitchett Street go under the hammer. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Canberra first home buyers have surged into the market in strong numbers during June, keeping the great Australian dream of home ownership alive despite the recent sharp increase in house prices.

The Bureau of Statistics reported that 229 loans were approved for first home buyers in the ACT over June, an increase of 22.5 per cent over the previous month.

The June total was the highest monthly result recorded by the ACT since October 2009 during the then global financial crisis stimulus First Home Owners Grant Boost scheme, initiated by the federal government.

The number of ACT first home buyer loans approved over the first six months of this year is now 6.9 per cent higher than that recorded over the same period last year.

The trend for first home buyer activity in the ACT is clearly on the rise with four consecutive sharp monthly increases in lending activity from this group.

The first home buyer market share of total owner-occupier loans approved in the ACT has also surged over June, rising to 18.8 per cent and the highest local monthly proportion recorded since January 2013.

The average first home buyer loan approved in the ACT eased sharply over June to $294,300 and was 6.3 percent lower than that recorded over June last year.

The strong increase in first home buyer activity this year has been recorded despite the recent change to the local first Home Owner Grant, which for new home purchases up to $750,000 was reduced from $10,000 to $7000 effective from January 1 2017.

Dr Andrew Wilson is Domain Group chief economist. Twitter@DocAndrewWilson Join on LinkedIn and Facebook at MyHousingMarket.