25 Jan 2013
While agents point to a weaker residential property market, in 2012, first-time home buyers were reportedly very active, according to estate agents.
The FNB Estate Agent Survey Q4 2012 indicates that the average first-time buyer percentage of 23 percent was unchanged from the 23 percent of 2011, with both of these years’ percentages reflecting a significantly better performance of first-time buyers compared with the 2008-2010 period.
Writing in the report, FNB household and property strategist John Loos says the first-time buyer demand tends to be more cyclical than the total market.
“This is arguably because many young buyers have more flexibility than established households, being able to delay their own formation of a new household by remaining in their parent’s home for longer during tougher property and economic times, or by often remaining in a rental property for longer”
Loos says the level of first-time buying is also a good indicator of whether market conditions are improving and, given this group’s high dependence on credit, possibly also an indication of whether credit is becoming easier to obtain or not.
However, from a quarterly point of view, the percentage of first-time buyers declined to 21 percent in Q4 2012 from 25 percent in Q3 2012. – Denise Mhlanga
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