[ Herald Sun ] - First-home hopes high

Conditions 'never been better' to buy 

First-home buyers seizing their best chance to enter the market will fast-track Melbourne's property market recovery.

Experts tip the first-time buyer charge will begin within weeks, fuelled by an expected interest rate cut, a loosening of lending restrictions and the federal government's pledge to top up deposits with a guarantee.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Robyn Waters, a 30-year industry veteran, said that coupled with recent price drops she had never seen better conditions for first-home buyers. She said the good news for first-timers would give the entire market a much-needed boost.

Ms Waters said Craigiebum, Donnybrook, Kalkallo, Middeham and Roxburgh Park would be hot spots.

SQM Research founder Louis Christopher said the next housing boom could be a step closer after the election outcome, which scuttled Labor's controversial changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax.

"This development alone will likely restore confidence in the market" Mr Christopher told the Sunday Herald Sun.

"A potential cut in interest rates as early as June 4 will increase confidence and borrowing power as well as disposable income across the community."

Mr Christopher said the banking regulator's loosening of lending criteria meant more people would be approved for a mortgage and be loaned more money. He said it had been seven years since lending and market conditions had been so good.

"All this will very likely mean there will be many more buyers in the market within just a few weeks," he said.

Up to 10,000 eligible first-home buyers are also expected to benefit under the Liberals' scheme that would allow them to use just a 5 per cent deposit for a loan.

Ray White Craigiebum director Andrew Bellino said his office, which had a clearance rate of about 80 per cent, was prepared for an onslaught.

"We're still averaging about 40 people at inspections and getting multiple bidders, even up to five, at auctions," Mr Bellino said.

Advantage Property Consultants director Frank Valentic said that while affordable properties could be bought in the north and west, buyers could also take advantage of the market closer to the city.

"Median house prices have decreased by 20-30 per cent in many blue-chip suburbs over the past 18 months and provide much better value for money opportunities now," Mr Valentic said.

He said that quality properties were attracting at least three or four bidders at auction, and it was worth considering making an early offer or an off-market deal.

[ Herald Sun ] - First-home hopes high