Kelvin Davidson

PHOTO: Property economist Kelvin Davidson told AM first home buyer share lowest it’s been in four and a half years.

A property economist says a number of reasons could be behind the share of houses being sold to first home buyers hitting a four-and-a-half low.

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CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson told AM on Monday with tighter lending rules and mortgage rates up, the first home buyer share dropped to 21 percent in March.

Davidson said the current theme for market share is debt versus equity with movers, relocating owner-occupiers or cash investors currently the most active as opposed to people more reliant on debt, which are mortgage investors and first home buyers.

“So in a lot of cases they will have debt but they will be a little bit higher up the ladder and they will have a bit of equity behind them, and what we call cash investors…. so those groups are fairly active.

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“Clearly, first home buyers have found it tough going, lending rules are tighter, mortgage rates are up.”

Davidson said the current trends reflect the inability of people to get mortgages as they have in the past.

“The credit rules have really tightened up, you need that big deposit or that allowance for loan deposit finance has been reduced,” he told AM.

“Mortgage rates are going up and anyone with a mortgage is paying more and there could be another at least one percent onto most mortgage rates over the next three to six months, so there is more to come.”

Davidson said people on current fixed rates might be “sitting pretty at the moment” but warned they will be looking at higher costs soon.

He said one factor the trends could be showing is people making personal choices not to be active in the property market in the hope of a bargain further down the track.

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