This is lower than the national average of 4.1 years and the fourth shortest savings period of any state or territory, according to the sixth annual Bankwest First Time Buyer Deposit Report.
The report also shows saving for a house deposits was easier in the majority (54 per cent) of Queensland local government areas, compared to 2013. This is in stark contrast to New South Wales and Victoria, where saving times have increased by 78 per cent and 84 per cent of LGAs respectively.
Saving periods for Queensland first-time buyers have increased slightly over the past year (2.7 per cent), driven by an increase in median house values of 5.8 per cent in the past 12 months.
However, over the past five years first-time buyer wages have outpaced median house value growth, with wages growing by 19.1 per cent compared to house value growth of 1.9 per cent.
“Compared to the other eastern states, Queensland offers the most-manageable first-time buyers’ market,” said Ian Rakhit, Bankwest head of specialist banking.
“But with strong wage and population growth across the state, it’s possible that Queensland’s first-time home market will soon gain pace, in line with New South Wales and Victoria. Queenslanders in a position to buy their first home now will benefit from relatively favourable conditions.”
The study found it would take less than two years to save for a house deposit in almost one in five (17 per cent) of LGAs in Queensland, while a further 76 per cent would take between two and four years to save a house deposit.
At the top end of the Queensland market, 7 per cent of LGAs (three out of 46) would have savings times of more than four years.
This number pales in comparison to the 32 per cent of LGAs that would take four or more years of saving to buy a first-time home in New South Wales.
For Deagon residents Ben Elder and Taylor Felsman it took two years to save a deposit on their first home.
“We were lucky in that we learned about financial responsibility from both our parents so we were both good at having a set amount that we saved every week,” Mr Elder said.
“It was definitely difficult but we didn’t have to give up too many things to get there. If anything, it’s the costs we weren’t aware of like dealing with solicitors that were trickier for us.”
Mr Elder said saving for a first home was always going to be hard work for buyers.
“It’s all relative financially so it’s hard to compare our situation now to what our parents went through,” he said.
“The major difference would probably be just how competitive the property market is now, which is something earlier generations probably didn’t have to deal with as much.”
Long savings areas were spread across the state, particularly in with tourist destinations such as the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Cairns and the Whitsundays.
“We’re already seeing longer saving times in the Gold Coast, but it’s likely the 2018 Commonwealth Games will further impact the price of and saving times for properties in the Gold Coast and surrounds,” Mr Rakhit said.
Nationally, first-time buyers are being forced to save for longer as the median value of houses outpaces salary growth.
On average, Australian first-time buyers will now take 4.1 years to save a 20 per cent deposit for a house, up from 3.9 years in 2013.
Despite an increase in the median price of housing across Australia, wages among first-time buyers have only grown by 2.6 per cent over the year with saver incomes lagging behind.
A large part of the growth in national housing prices can be attributed to low interest rates, with standard variable rates currently at the lowest level since 2009.
The current average rate of 5.9 per cent per annum is well below the average rate of 7.3 per cent seen over the past 10 years.
While low interest rates may make it easier for homeowners to service their loans, they can also make it more difficult for first-time home buyers to save for a first home deposit.
For a couple saving their money in a high-interest online savings account, the average interest rate has been 2.5 per cent over the past 12 months, down from 3.17 per cent in 2013, and the average rate of 4.69 per cent over the past 10 years.
“Certainly, today’s low interest rates make home loans more serviceable for young homeowners but for most, saving a deposit for their first home remains the biggest challenge,” Mr Rakhit said.
“While interest rates are low, it’s important to develop a tailored plan that will make the most of your savings each month.
“We encourage those planning to purchase their first home to shop around to find the best savings plan for their needs.”
Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today
Queensland’s population has tipped the 5 million mark today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told State Parliament.
Ms Palaszczuk said several expectant families were on standby to welcome the state’s five-millionth resident.
“Somewhere today a brand new mum and dad will be eager to meet their new arrival,” she told the house.
“The whole family will want to know: is it a boy or is it a girl? And the doctor will say, ‘congratulations, it’s a Queenslander’.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the two main drivers of the increase were migration growth, particularly from New South Wales, and from 60,000 babies being born in the past year.
PHOTO: The state’s five-millionth resident was born today.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)
“Overseas and interstate migration is up by 50,000 people in the past year, 19,000 came from interstate … more than 12,000, or 230 a week, move from New South Wales to Queensland,” she said.
ABS data also revealed the fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland in 2016-17 was Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3,000 people.
Large growth also occurred in Jimboomba on Brisbane’s south side and in North Lakes — a suburb north of the city — which both increased by 2,100 people.
Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich also experienced large growth up 1,400 people.
The State Government’s population counter gives a “synthetic estimate” of the number of current Queenslanders, assuming a total population increase of one person every 6 minutes and 22 seconds.
Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Queensland’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent and was projected to tick over to 5 million in May.
ABS data released in March also revealed Brisbane was one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and had increased by 48,000 in 2017, hitting 2.4 million people.
ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the state’s population had “come a long way” in the last century.
“In 1901 the population was half a million; a tenth of what it is today… it took 37 years to hit the 1 million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach 2 million in 1974,” he said.
But Mr Grubb said population growth “picked up the pace” after that, taking just 18 years to reach 3 million then only another 14 years to hit 4 million in 2006.
Queensland could be leading growth state in future
Population demographer Dr Elin Charles-Edwards said although Queensland is not currently the fastest growing state, it is possible it could top the leader board later down the track.
‘Not in the short-term, but Queensland is coming up off a relatively subdued growth so perhaps we might be entering an era of more rapid growth,” she said.
Dr Charles-Edwards said the challenges that generally come with increased population could be managed in Queensland.
“As long as we keep up and don’t take our eye off the ball we can continue to absorb quite high levels of growth… but really it’s keeping up with the infrastructure that’s the key challenge,” she said.
Dr Charles-Edwards said it was important to note some parts of the state, particularly in western Queensland, were experiencing population decline.
“While the south-east corner is growing and also many Indigenous communities are growing, other parts of the state are shrinking,” she said.
“Perhaps we could do more to encourage people to move outside the south-east corner.
“If we were able to work out some way to decentralise our population, growth a little bit further up into the northern regional centres, I think that would benefit the growth of south-east Queensland.”
APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth
APRA is removing the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on investor loan growth.
Photo: Louise Kennerley
The banking regulator is axing a 10 per cent speed limit on bank lending to property investors, saying the cap has served its purpose and improved credit standards.
With Sydney house prices falling and credit growth slowing, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Thursday said it would remove the cap for bank boards that could prove they had been following its guidelines on prudent lending.
In late 2014, amid a surge in borrowing by property investors and rapid house price growth, APRA took the rare step of setting a 10 per cent limit on the annual growth in banks’ housing investor loan portfolios.
The measure has rocked the mortgage market in recent years, prompting banks to jack up interest rates for housing investors, and demand borrowers stump up bigger deposits.
But on Thursday, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said it was prepared to remove the measure because there had been an improvement in lending standards and a slowdown in credit growth.
“The temporary benchmark on investor loan growth has served its purpose. Lending growth has moderated, standards have been lifted and oversight has improved,” Mr Byres
Even so, the regulator will retain a separate 2017 policy that requires banks to limit their new interest-only lending to less than 30 per cent of all new home loan approvals.
APRA also said there was “more to do” in improving other aspects of banks’ lending, including how they assessed borrowers’ expenses, their existing debts, and the approval of loans that fell outside of banks’ formal lending policies.
APRA said it expected banks to introduce limits on the proportion of new lending that could be done at “very high” debt-to-income levels.
“In the current environment, APRA supervisors will continue to closely monitor any changes in lending standards,” Mr Byres said.
“The benchmark on interest-only lending will also continue to apply. APRA will consider the need for further changes to its approach as conditions evolve, in consultation with the other members of the Council of Financial Regulators.”
Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama
Brisbane’s population hit 2.4 million in June 2017, according to ABS figures.Source:Supplied
BRISBANE is back among Australia’s fastest-growing cities thanks to a growth spurt, but more people are flocking to areas outside the state’s capital.
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the city’s population grew by 48,000 in the year to June 2017 to hit 2.4 million — the fastest rate of growth in four years.
Births accounted for 37 per cent of the growth, while interstate migration accounted for 25 per cent.
The fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland is Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3000 people or 31 per cent in 2016-17.
An aerial shot of Pimpama on the northern end of the Gold Coast. Picture: skyepicsaerialphotography.Source:Supplied
Other areas to experience significant population growth include Jimboomba on the southern outskirts of Brisbane, North Lakes-Mango Hill in the Moreton Bay region, Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich.
ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the latest population estimates were the first to include data on the components driving population growth in capital cities and regions.
“It is now possible to not only see how much population is changing in an area, but to understand why this change is occurring”, he said.
Michael Matusik, director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights, believes Queensland’s improving population growth should impact house prices, but it hadn’t so far because the state’s economy also needed to improve.
Mr Matusik told The Courier-Mail Pimpama’s population was growing at a rate he didn’t believe was sustainable.
“It’s a reflection of where land supply is on the Gold Coast at the moment and I think that will calm down,” he said.
“But if the Gold Coast is going to continue expanding, those areas will become more like North Lakes in due course.”
Sydney’s population grew by just over 100,000 people in one year for the first time, taking that city’s total numbers to 5.1 million.
Australia’s big east coast cities carried most of the growth — Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane accounted for over 70 per cent of Australia’s population increase.
Darwin, Adelaide and Perth grew at 1 per cent or less.
TOP FIVE POPULATION GROWTH AREAS IN QLD
Suburb Population change 2016-17 Population as at June 30, 2017
1. Pimpama, Gold Coast 30.8% 12,586
2. Jimboomba 7.9% 28,639
3. North Lakes-Mango Hill 6.7% 33,225
4. Coomera 10.3% 15,227
5. Springfield Lakes 8.7% 17,468