Much of the demand that has allowed property markets to defy the 2020 doomsday predictions has been driven by first-home buyers.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia says FHBs increased their market share 50.4% over 2020, motivated by the high level of government incentives on offer.

“Seeing this trend in conversion to home ownership is particularly great news given the challenges many tenants and investors faced over the pandemic,” says REIA president Adrian Kelly.

He says, however, that surging house prices could impact housing affordability unless measures to improve supply are implemented. Kelly says the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments has increased to 34.8%, up 0.9 percentage points.

NSW is the least affordable state, with 44.6% of income required to meet loan repayments. The Northern Territory is the most affordable with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments 21.9%.