Almost one in four homes at a new Cheltenham development was snapped up by first-time buyers, despite their historically low share of the buying market.
Strong demand for affordable property fuelled a frenzy this month when 23 off-the-plan properties at the Jack Rd development sold within three hours.
The first release of the $130 million Mirvac project featured two and three-bedroom townhouses, three and four-bedroom houses and two-bedroom apartments.
First-time buyers made up about 23 per cent of total sales.
First homebuyers Shawn Cole and Brianna Pollock, of Doncaster East, said they had been looking for up to eight months before they bought a two-bedroom apartment at the development.
“It is definitely the biggest we’ve seen for such an affordable price,” Ms Pollock said.
The starting price for apartments was $510,000, but the average apartment sold for about $558,000.
Greg Hocking Poulios, Cheltenham, agent Angela Limanis said first-time buyers often looked for property under $600,000 to qualify for the first-home buyers’ stamp duty discount.
“First-time buyers are always going to be around and they’re always going to start looking in their preferred area but then they go on to look where they can afford,” she said.
“We are seeing a lot of first-time buyers looking in Heatherton and Dingley Village.”
The rate of first-home buyers purchasing properties across the country dipped to a decade low in January to just 13.6 per cent.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the rate last dropped below 14 per cent in 2003-04.
Median apartment prices remained affordable in Cheltenham, Dingley Village and Heatherton, ranging from $424,000 to $470,000, according to CoreLogic RP Data.
But median house prices were significantly higher, at $710,000 in Cheltenham, $713,44 in Heatheron and $602,500 in Dingley Village.
Mirvac Group Executive for Residential John Carfi said they were seeing significant demand in the area for good quality homes.