12 Feb 2013

NSW first home buyer numbers well down

8:47 pm on 12 February 2013

The number of first home buyers in New South Wales is at its lowest for 20 years and the size of the average home loan is now the highest on record.

Opposition Leader John Robertson told a housing affordability summit at parliament in Sydney on Tuesday, that data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 988 first home buyer loans were granted in NSW in December.

AAP reports this was down from 1383 in November.

"(This) marks a new 20-year low," Mr Robertson said in a statement on Tuesday.

The average loan size for first home buyers jumped by $A13,300 to $A321,600, the highest on record, he added.

Mr Robertson blamed the state government for the figures, saying the end of a first home owner grant worth $A7000 and the ending of stamp duty exemptions worth up to $A17,990 had devastated young people's chance of buying a home.

Shadow treasurer Michael Daley said a house purchased for $A500,000 in December could have cost up to $A24,990 more than it would have a year earlier, because of the cuts.