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Revealed: The creative homeowner strategies to get on the property ladder

man smiling at phone

  • Over half of Aussie buyers are using savvy tactics and strict budgets to buy a first home
  • A third are buying solo, proving it’s feasible
  • Fewer buyers relying on Bank of Mum and Dad than reputation suggests

More than half of Aussie buyers are setting strict budgets or seeking out savvy hacks to get their foot on the property ladder, while less than one in 10 are willing to stop socialising while deposit saving according to new research.

The Great Southern Bank Home Loaner Survey asked 1,000 Australians who had recently bought, or were actively looking to buy a property, what type of home loaner they were based on their saving tactics.

The key findings of the Great Southern Bank Home Loaner report were:

Budgeters - half of homeowners, 39% of active home buyers
The most common approach was sticking to a strict budget or keeping a weekly/monthly spreadsheet of all spending and saving. Other tactics included switching to public transport, choosing cheaper options at the supermarket, or strategically not spending as much for certain periods of time to still afford big ticket events or activities.

Savvy Hackers - 19% of homeowners, 31% of active home buyers
Taking advantage of Government grants or seeking good deals and discounts in their daily lives was the savings strategy for this group. Buying second-hand items, hosting garage sales or getting creative with meals were other tactics, while some even started a side hustle to earn extra income.

Of this group, 55% had used the First Home Buyers Deposit Scheme, with an additional 19% taking advantage of regional grants. For those looking to buy, 88% seek to benefit from Government support, 29% of which are applying for regional grants.

Long Haulers – 9% of homeowner, 16% of active home buyers
This group like to take a slow and steady approach to saving for a property. Most of the homeowners among them said they took between two to three years, or over five years to save.

Other home loaner types included:

  • Hibernators – only 5% of homeowners, 9% of buyers staying at home and not socialising in order to save for a deposit
  • Home Birds - only 6% of all survey respondents had taken the extreme measure of moving back in with family or friends to speed up the saving process
  • Fortunate - 5% of homeowners, 2% of buyers had used the Bank of Mum and Dad or inheritance money to fund their deposit
  • COVID-Sprinters – only 1% had managed to save most of their deposit during the pandemic

“Taking a proactive approach to saving is clearly a winning strategy,” says Megan Keleher, Chief Customer Officer at Great Southern Bank. “Our research indicates this mindset sticks when people become mortgage holders too, and even those who didn’t go down the ‘budget’ or ‘savvy hack’ route, adopted this approach once they became a homeowner.”

“The homeownership journey can be possible for all Australians and our research shows there’s no right or wrong path to take. Doing what works for your situation, applying some clever tactics, speaking to experts and trying not to be swayed by the myths that exist is a good start.”

Busting the property myths
“Our research shows fewer people are getting big handouts from the Bank of Mum and Dad than public perception suggests,” Ms Keleher said. “There is a general view that parents must be swooping in to help, but our research shows that, for most people, just setting savings and budgeting goals is the way to owning a home.”

1 in 10 respondents believed family members or friends who had recently bought a property had relied on their parents or inheritance money for the bulk of their deposit. However, only 5% had actually been this fortunate.

While most respondents are or plan to become joint homeowners with their partner, around a third had bought on their own or were looking to do so. NSW respondents said they had bought alone significantly more than other states (37%) with Victorians least likely to buy solo (26%).

Media contact:

Michael O’Toole
Manager, External Communications
Mobile: 0428 051 754