First home buyers are still a force in New South Wales despite predictions of a drop off in activity following the loss of major stamp duty concessions, according to leading mortgage broker Priority Lending.

Priority Lending Corporate Spokesman Paul Smith said the end of the first home buyer stamp duty concessions in NSW for properties under $500,000 from December 31, 2011, had some forecasters tipping a decline in the first time buyer sector.

But Mr Smith said the number of first time buyers in NSW had risen 15 per cent since the start of 2012.

“The number of first time buyers in the NSW market has grown from 43 per cent in December to an amazing 58 per cent in February,” he said.

“Despite the predicted correction in the market following the unpopular decision to remove the stamp duty concession, there are plenty of buyers actively looking to purchase their first home.”

Mr Smith said the upsurge in first home buyer activity was a positive response to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) lowering official interest rates in November and December last year.

“This is strong evidence that the perceived stamp duty hurdle has not deterred first time buyers and they are active in the market due to lower interest rates and increasing rental pressure,” he said.

“Residential real estate auction results indicate the property market has remained steady despite the forecasts of a post stamp duty correction.”

Source: Priority Lending

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