Doubts over new-home investment

The long-term investment potential of newly-built homes on city fringes is in doubt as young home buyer tastes change, according to a report by Macquarie Bank. The findings raise questions for those considering taking up the Government's $14,000 First Home Owners Grant available to those building their first home. Taking the $7000 grant available for purchase of an existing home closer to the city may result in a better long-term investment return. First home buyers wanting to build in new housing areas should look for locations offering good infrastructure such as schools, public transport, shops, entertainment and recreational facilities. The traditional Great Australian Dream of the quarter acre block is fast disappearing from the minds of today's first home buyers, according to Property Market Outlook 2001 and reviewed in the Australian Financial Review. Young couples buying their first home are for lifestyle reasons far more likely to aspire to a compact home close to the city centre. Eighty per cent of first home buyers now buy an existing dwelling, especially apartments with many second and third home buyers also being drawn into inner city suburbs.