October 08, 2012
When it comes to picking their first property, it seems Australians are a fastidious bunch. According to the 2012 Mortgage Choice Recent First Homeowner Survey, the average number of properties viewed by first homeowners who have purchased in the last two years is twenty-one.
However, more than one in four recent first homeowners admits to viewing twenty-one or more properties in the quest for an ideal first home. Almost one quarter (23%) of respondents say they looked at somewhere between 21 and 50 houses before making a purchase and 8% looked at more than 50 properties.
Meanwhile, 25% of those questioned said they had viewed between 11 and 20 properties before selecting their home and 44% made their final decision after viewing 10 or less places.
Mortgage Choice spokesperson, Belinda Williamson said, “Buying your first property is one of the biggest financial decisions a person is likely to make in a lifetime. The fact that people are viewing so many properties before making a purchase is a positive – it makes sense to invest the appropriate amount of time into researching and viewing potential properties to make sure you are happy with the final decision.”
“If homebuyers spent an hour viewing each potential property, the time can quickly add up. However, the hours spent planning and properly considering all your options upfront, can save you from the heartache of making a hasty decision that can either cost you financially or leave you dissatisfied with your decision.”
The survey also found that this high level of buyer due-diligence appears to be paying off. The research shows that the majority of recent first homeowners hold no regrets when it comes to the purchase of their first home, with less than one fifth (18%) saying they have misgivings.
Of those who do have regrets nationally, over one quarter (27%) feel they should have bought in a different area, 26% say they regret not shopping around more for a property and, rounding out the top three, 21% say they wish they had waited until they could afford a property that was closer to their ideal home.
On the whole, Victorians are suffering from first homeowner remorse the most (21%), followed by Queenslanders (20%), South Australians (18%) and those in New South Wales (17%). In Western Australian, only 10% of recent first time owners say they have regrets about their property purchase.
The biggest regret, not buying in a different area, was the main point of contention for Victorians, with 36% of recent homeowners agreeing with this, compared to only 27% of Western Australians, 23% of New South Welshman, 22% of South Australians and 21% of Queenslanders.
Exactly one third of South Australian recent first homeowners who are harboring regrets about their property purchase say that they feel they should have shopped around more. This is compared to 29% of respondents in Queensland, 27% in Western Australian, 26% in New South Wales and 21% in Victoria.
The survey also found that a significant proportion of people suffer regrets of a financial nature – with 20% saying they wish they had been in a more comfortable financial situation before purchasing. One in five people wish they had opted for a cheaper property; 14% wish they had waited until they had a larger deposit; 9% of regretted their choice in lender and; 8% resent taking on extra debt after they bought.
Ms Williamson concluded, “Buyers who feel they may have paid too much for their property or who have taken on additional post-purchase debts can help ease any financial burden by ensuring that they are getting the most competitive deal on their home loan, as this can make a big difference to their monthly repayments. Using a professional mortgage broker can help in negotiating the best mortgage deal to suit a buyer's needs. I am sure no one ever regrets saving money!”
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Mortgage Choice Corporate Affairs
02 8907 0472 / 0407 416 124
02 9018 8608 / 0404 381 886
About the survey
The Mortgage Choice 2012 Recent First Homeowner Survey of 910 Australians who had bought their first home in the past two years ran online in September 2012.