Buoyant markets, government subsidies and cheap mortgages are motivating twice as many people to buy their first home, according to new research.

The number of people wanting to buy their first home in the next five years has more than doubled from 7% to 16% in the space of 12 months, according to a survey commissioned by Westpac. People want a place of their own after spending lockdowns with family, friends and housemates, says Anthony Hughes, managing director of mortgages at Westpac.

“It’s interesting to see this is now largely being driven by Gen Z, who after being cooped up at home during restrictions are now ready to leave their housemates or parents behind for a place of their own – many of whom might not have considered this a possibility before the pandemic,” he says.

The survey found 69% of participants currently live with housemates, parents or in-laws. A third believe home ownership will give them a sense of independence.

First-time buyers accounted for more than a third of November’s $17.3 billion owner-occupier loans, according to the ABS, many of them taking advantage of the government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.