Australia’s first buyers move to the suburbs


First-time homebuyers continued to return to the outer suburbs in the four months leading up to August, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, according to new data from the NAB.

Between May and August, NAB loans to first-time homebuyers jumped 77% from the corresponding period last year, with May being the highest month. It is also up 20% from the first four months of 2021.

While the tree change was popular in 2020, there continues to be a growing shift for first-time homebuyers to opt for metropolitan areas in some states.

First-time homebuyers activity in metropolitan areas during this period increased 24 percent, while regional regions increased 16 percent over the same period.

NAB Executive Home Ownership, Andy Kerr said that while affordability and bottlenecks in Sydney and Melbourne have had an impact on the market, early home buyers have continued to find good deals.

“We recognize that rising prices create an increasing challenge, especially for first-time buyers, as supply remains below average,” said Mr. Kerr.

“The closures in Sydney and Melbourne have had an impact, but we expect seasonality to return as we typically see a lot more inventory entering the market in the spring. We are optimistic as NSW and Victoria will continue to open in the spring. in the coming weeks as vaccination rates increase, registrations especially in Melbourne will increase towards the end of 2021.

“What we have seen over the past 18 months during the pandemic is a big change in the way many Australians work. It has fundamentally changed the options for homebuyers with hybrid work based locations, opening up suburbs that were not available in the past with daily commutes.

“The correlation between suburban suburbs and the purchase of new construction in particular certainly plays a role in finding a good deal. Downtown apartments are again gaining more attention as buyers eye the areas. where price growth is more moderate. ”

“The most recent launch of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and its broader suitability has seen continued momentum in first-time homebuyer activity since July.”

Melbourne continues to rebound, popularity of regional areas slows

Growth in FHB loans has been more localized than last year, when data showed growing activity across the country. Now, NSW and Victoria continued to grow strongly through mid-2021 despite the impact of lockdowns.

Year over year, NSW, Queensland and WA are leading the way, with growth in loans to first-time homebuyers exceeding 90%.

Compared to the first four months of this year, NSW / ACT is the leader, with FHB activity up 29% and strongly driven by metropolitan areas. The only region to record a decrease from the first four months of this year was the QLD region (-1%), but on a year-over-year basis it continues to perform very well (+ 56%).

Regional areas across the country saw an 88% increase in FHB activity, while metropolitan areas grew 85% from a year ago. However, it’s a slightly different story from the previous four months, with a 16% increase in regional FHB activity versus a 24% increase in the metro.

“First-time buyers seem to be responding to the price changes as our list of hot spots has changed significantly since June, with only five Australia-wide zip codes on both lists,” Kerr said.

“Melbourne followed all other cities in first-time homebuyer activity last year primarily due to the impacts of COVID-19 and we continue to see an element of catching up this year.

“As activity has slowed down in the QLD and WA regional areas since the early months of this year, in NSW and Victoria, it is clear that the sea and tree change continues to be incredibly popular for first buyers. ”

Site May-Aug ’21 vs May-Aug ’20 May-Aug ’21 vs Jan-Apr ’21

77% (Metro: 85%; Regional 88%)

20% (Metro: 24%; Regional 16%)


96% (Metro: 97%; Regional 103%)

29% (Metro: 30%; Regional 23%)


67% (Metro: 77%; Regional 91%)

26% (Metro: 32%; Regional 22%)


72% (Metro: 87%; Regional 56%)

1% (Metro: 5%; Regional -1%)


71% (Metro: 67%; Regional 101%)

2% (Metro: 2%; Regional 4%)


52% (Metro: 56%; Regional 82%)

15% (Metro: 21%; Regional 18%)

First home buyer hotspots in 2021 * (bold indicates postal codes that appeared in our june list):

The following metropolitan postal codes experienced high demand between May and August 2021:

Greater Sydney

2036 – including Matraville + 134%

2077 – of which Hornsby + 47%

2114 – including West Ryde + 228%

2147 – including Seven Hills + 68%

2153 – including Baulkham Hills + 38%

2160 – including Merrylands + 80%

2170 – of which Liverpool + 56%

2200 – including Bankstown +50

2261 – of which Bateau Bay + 79%

2560 – including Campbelltown + 70%


2340 – of which East Tamworth + 59%

2530 – of which Dapto + 32%

“Greater Sydney continued its momentum in May and June before the lockdown began to impact the activity of first-time home buyers as well as the rise in house prices,” Kerr said.

“We have always recorded strong sales in July and August, with overall activity up 24% compared to the first four months of the year.

“There has been huge growth in the number of first-time buyers just south of Sydney, near Matraville and Eastgardens, again showing strong demand in the surrounding suburbs with nearby Maroubra, a popular location in early 2021. The West Sydney continued to generate interest with West Ryde, Liverpool and Bankstown showing strong growth.

“The Central Coast has stood out as an area of ​​interest for first-time home buyers, offering an attractive lifestyle in the region. Dapto has again proven to be a popular spot for first-time home buyers just two hours south of Sydney. ”



3006 – of which Southbank + 54%

3028 – including Altona Meadows + 128%

3037 – including Taylors Hill + 142%

3072 – of which Preston + 252%

3,121 – of which Richmond + 39%

3,141 – of which Sud Yarra + 88%

3,805 – including Narre Warren + 43%

3,977 – including Cranbourne + 31%

3024 – of which Wyndham Vale + 45%


3337 – of which Melton + 63%

3350 – of which Ballarat + 82%

3429 – of which Sunbury + 34%

West Melbourne continues to strengthen and offers excellent options for first-time home buyers. Preston has become a popular hotspot with Northcote and Thornbury nearby offering the best of the North Melbourne lifestyle.

“Cranbourne and Narre Warren in the South East again stood out with excellent access to public transport and the gateway to areas like the Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland.

“Closer to Melbourne, apartment living in Southbank and Richmond offers attractive downtown living and affordable options for first-time home buyers.”


Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast

4007 – including Hamilton (+ 108%)

4110 – of which Acacia Ridge (+ 115%)

4078 – of which Forest Lake + 37%

4208 – including Ormeau (+ 37%)

4,215 – including Southport (+ 31%)

4300 – including Springfield Lakes (+ 51%)

4,500 – including Bray Park (+ 60%)


4211 – of which Beechmont + 39%

4740 – including East Mackay (+ 55%)

“First-time homebuyers have taken advantage of the apartment boom in trendy Hamilton, right on the Brisbane River,” Kerr said.

“Acacia Ridge in South Brisbane has grown in popularity with access to shops, restaurants and TAFE Queensland. Bray Park also offers an opportunity to buy an affordable home in an established area just 12 miles from the CBD of Brisbane. Southport just north of Surfers Paradise has proven to be a popular access point for first-time homebuyers looking for a Gold Coast lifestyle. ”



6,025 – of which Hillarys (+ 128%)

6,027 – including Joondalup (+ 31%)

6056 – including Midland (+ 77%)

6064 – including Girrawheen (84%)

6153 – including Mount Pleasant (+ 72%)

6069 – including Ellenbrook (+ 48%)

6163 – of which Kardinya + 35%


6430 – including Kalgoorlie (+ 70%)

“The first home buyers have flocked north from Perth to suburbs like Girrawheen and Hillarys, which is one of the city’s main waterfront leisure destinations,” Kerr said.

“Kardinya, just south of town, has again proven popular with first-time home buyers, while the waterfront suburb of Mount Pleasant offers the option of apartment living. ”



5042 – including Pasadena (+ 82%)

5159 – including Aberfoyle Park (+ 35%)

“The southern suburb of Adelaide has proven popular with first-time home buyers in Pasadena, which is located between two train lines and close to the Marion Shopping Center,” Kerr said.

“Further south, buyers turned to Aberfoyle Park, close to the McLaren Vale wine country and the south coast.”


2615 – including Holt (+ 24%)

2905 – including Calwell (+ 245%)


7050 – including Kingston + 105%

For more information:


Calum Young NAB media line

M: +61 (0) 472 863 630 Tel. : +61 (0) 3 7035 5015

* Based on NAB sales growth from May to August 2021, compared to January to April 2021.

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