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How decades of inaction is causing pain for renters today

Kent Lardner is the Director of Suburb Trends, a property research firm that utilises statistics to rank the top streets in every suburb of Australia. You may remember Kent from our recent episode ‘Why the property price drop you’re expecting may not be coming’, where he explored the trends he was seeing in house prices across Australia.

In this episode, Kent returns to unpack the Rental Pain Index, a detailed report showing how rising rental prices are impacting renters across Australia. Kent also reflects on the difficulties many renters experience when saving a house deposit and shares his biggest tip for anyone looking at purchasing their first property.

Kent Lardner is the Director of Suburb Trends, a property research firm that utilises statistics to rank the top streets in every suburb of Australia. You may remember Kent from our recent episode ‘Why the property price drop you’re expecting may not be coming’, where he explored the trends he was seeing in house prices across Australia.

In this episode, Kent returns to unpack the Rental Pain Index, a detailed report showing how rising rental prices are impacting renters across Australia. Kent also reflects on the difficulties many renters experience when saving a house deposit and shares his biggest tip for anyone looking at purchasing their first property.

Episode Outline

00:00Disclaimer 00:16Introduction 01:48Other than Australia, where else would he choose to live? 03:24Rental Pain Index 05:50Are there areas in Australia that are at more risk? 08:12Biggest takeaway from the latest pain index? 09:28Where is most of the supply coming from for the key capital cities? 14:32How does the Rental Pain Index affect first home buyers? 16:50Property Market Outlook 21:56Forecasts for the next 6 months when it comes to housing pricing 25:15Advice for first home buyers trying the enter the market in its current condition 26:48What should first home buyers prioritise when choosing their first home? 27:35One thing Kent wished he knew when he bought his first home 31:08How to get in touch with Kent Lardner

Show notes

Kent Lardner is the Director of Suburb Trends, a property research firm that utilises statistics to rank the top streets in every suburb of Australia. You may remember Kent from our recent episode ‘Why the property price drop you’re expecting may not be coming’, where he explored the trends he was seeing in house prices across Australia.

In this episode, Kent returns to unpack the Rental Pain Index, a detailed report showing how rising rental prices are impacting renters across Australia. Kent also reflects on the difficulties many renters experience when saving a house deposit and shares his biggest tip for anyone looking at purchasing their first property.

Get in touch with Kent Lardner

Director of Suburb Trends


Michael 0:00

The information contained in this podcast is general in nature and is not to be taken as financial or personal advice. It does not consider your objectives, financial situation, or needs, you should consider whether this information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances before acting on it.

Hi, and welcome to the home run your guide to buying the first home in Australia. On the show, I’ll walk you through the home-buying process from every angle. We cover the steps to take the pitfalls to avoid, and the answers to all your questions you’ve been dying to ask. No matter what stage you’re at, you’ll learn everything you need to know about buying your first home.

I’m your host Michael Nasser, and I’m a mortgage broker at Lendstreet. And I really love helping people buy their first home. Today I’m joined again by Kent Lardner, the director of suburb trends. Suburb Trends is a property research firm, trusted by some of the biggest names in Australian real estate.

You may remember Ken from a previous appearance on the show, where he explained the Reserve Bank’s changes to interest rates and how they affect first-home buyers.

In this episode, Kent breaks down his rental pain index, a detailed report on how suburbs across Australia are being affected by rising rental prices. He also shares an update on the current property market, including his biggest advice for anyone about to purchase their first property. Really excited about today’s conversation. So let’s jump in. Kent, welcome back to the show.

Kent 1:27
Thank you. How long has it been?

Michael 1:30
Probably two to three months? I’d say.

Kent 1:32
Oh, okay.

Michael 1:34
Yeah, I don’t know if it feels longer or shorter for you. Maybe, maybe there’s been a lot happening in between, but mine’s been occupied. So yes. As we’ve alluded to, this is your second appearance on the show. And I know you know a lot about property in Australia. But I want to start out with a fun question before we dive into today’s topic. And that is if you could live anywhere else in the world other than Australia, where would you live in? Why? Malaysia

Kent 1:51

Michael 1:53
Really? I wouldn’t have picked that.

Kent 1:54
Okay. Yeah, I kind of follow a YouTube channel. And it’s a guy that’s called Nomad Capitalist. Okay. And it’s a fantastic program. He’s very talented. And he’s been promoting Malaysia as a great option. Lovely people very cost-effective quality. You don’t have a language barrier. If you can only speak English. It’s an ideal spot. And I think also because it’s there’s a very strong religious base there, it creates a kind of culture that appeals to a lot of people, including me, so yeah.

Michael 2:27
Okay, that’s that’s, that’s, that’s really interesting. And from memory, you spent some time in Asia, I think initially, when you first started your working activities.

Kent 2:34
I spent about a year in China, China, so Beijing and another spot called Harbin way north to minus 24 minus 20 degrees in winter, helping a company up there that was seeking to emulate the core logic business model.

Michael 2:50
Okay. So yeah, no, and I guess some Malaysia is an awesome response. And like I said, not one I would have thought of.

Kent 2:56
I haven’t been there yet. I haven’t beaten I kind of been everywhere else. Yeah. Been there. But yeah, I am fascinated by it. But the challenge is, how do I get my wife and kids up there?

Michael 3:07
Goodluck. I mean goodluck. The Nomad Capitalist. Sounds like he’s a bit of a nomad. So I don’t imagine he has a family to contend with when he’s making these.

Kent 3:12
I’m not sure that yeah, I love watching your show on YouTube.

Michael 3:18
Check that out for sure. Okay, today, we’re going to be talking about a recent tool that you’ve introduced to the market, which is known as the rental pain index. And this comes by way of your your platform suburb trends. To start off with, can you explain what the rental pain index is?

Kent 3:33
What I’ve endeavored to do is capture a number of elements that would impact a renter. So it’s a very much from a renters perspective and the things that would impact the renter. So the first element is to measure how rents have increased in the last 12 months, is there shock with the next rent review coming? So that’s number one, the second one, then we look at some of the things that are trending or things that can influence that rental price. So we move on to how many properties are advertised for rent currently as a percentage of the overall rental market. So how much stock rental stocks on the market, and that has a correlation to rental increases, but probably a little bit simpler is it actually limits your choice. If there’s not a lot advertised, you’ve got very limited very scarce choice.

So that’s the second thing that creates some rental brain. The third and the fourth, both relate to vacancy rates. So the first one is what’s the vacancy rate trend? Is it going up? Or is it going down? If it’s going up, that takes a lot of pressure off rental increases, if it’s still going down, that puts pressure up on rents, and then current vacancy rates. Typically, we’ve gotten used to under 2% been kind of normal in Australia.

It’s not normal, it’s probably two and a half 3%. So one of the measures is is it below one and a half percent, which really is a trigger for a lot of pressure on the rental market. And then the final end fifth metric that rolls up into that overall aggregate score is how much of my household income has been allocated to rent, which is an affordability metric. And generally, a 30% measure is the critical point. So if you’re spending 30% or more, that’s called a crisis are severely unaffordable. And Australia by the end of this year on forecasting is about to tip on average into a 31% of household income being allocated to rent on average. So the country is in crisis, the numbers tell us that.

Michael 5:37
Yeah, and that particular metric of this statistic of household income, I imagine effects certain areas. I know we’re looking you’re looking at Australia as an average, and obviously Australia’s a market, within markets within markets. And so I’m assuming there are areas and territories that are probably more at risk. And are you saying that in your initial findings?

Kent 5:53
Absolutely, a couple of key things with any of these measures, we’re using the median. So if you understand how medians work, you’ve got a lot of household incomes below the median, and half of them are above and half are below. Same for rent, some areas, that distribution is very non normal. So if you go to areas where there’s a lot of retirees, there’s a very long tail there, where there’s a lot of low, low, low, low incomes, and that brings the median down. Now, it really then depends on where are these people living?

Are they living in the house that they already own, etcetera, Seth can throw the numbers out. So you always kind of keep that in mind that some areas bubbled to the top for odd reasons. And some of those could be the numbers or the distribution of the numbers of the reasons why they appear. Put that on the one side, the areas that do appear at the top of the list are those predominantly in the lower socio economic areas or lower income areas. And the problem we’ve got there is not just that they’ve got lower incomes, it’s that they’re spending 34 35% of the household income in those lower socio economic bracket.

So the most disadvantaged areas are really feeling the squeeze because they’re spending a higher proportion. If I compare, say those in the lower socio-economic the one or two, they’re spending in the mid-30s. If I go to the safer index, the socio-economic index done by the abs, if I go up to the nine or the 10, they’re spending 20 to 23, maybe 24% of their household income. So they’ve gotten a lot more income, and they’re spending a lot less of it as a proportion. So the gap is really widening. And that old attitude we had as Australia of being egalitarian and look after your mates, and that seems to be fading rapidly.

Michael 7:40
Yeah, that’s an interesting point that you raised there. You know, that’s, uh, you know, we’re looking out for each other. And it seems that we’re sort of dividing it up a little bit here.

Kent 7:47
And I don’t think we are anymore. I think we stopped sometime in the 90s. I think we all shifted our gaze to Gordon Gekko as a hero. And we’ve all for the last 20 years, we’ve all sat around the pub, all the cafe bragging about how much our house price has gone up, you know, how good en-us and for 30 or 40 years now we’ve neglected social public housing. And we’re paying the price for that now. And this will spill over. It’s not an isolated cup.

Michael 8:11
Yeah. And I’m sure there’s some some big takeaways and what would you say the biggest takeaway from this index now that we’re starting to monitor that you’re putting out now what about the current states of rentals in Australia as a general observation?

Kent 8:22
I think the big take out is that the politicians even though it may have taken 30 or 40 years to get here, a lot of the leaders now are focused on this. So whether that be Chris Mintz in New South Wales, Anthony Albanese, from a national perspective, this is a big focus now. So supply is the issue, not some half-hearted rental cap, you know, those rental caps are probably going to have the reverse of the intended effect. And I think these politicians are calling that out. They’re not playing cheap politics are not playing short-termisms. They’re actually recognising that the only solution is supply-driven. Rarely do I applaud politicians, but certainly they seem to be focused on the right thing now, but they’re carrying the can for 30 or 40 years of neglect.

Michael 9:11
Yeah. And I guess that supply issue is definitely an issue and probably the conversation in its own right because it’s got its challenges. But in Sydney in particular, obviously, we’ve seen a steering away to some extent of that high-density type of housing and style of over-desirable asset class, and where do you see that supply coming from in most of the capital cities?

Kent 9:31
The focus on New South Wales for example, Chris Mintz is highlighting that the infill is an important thing. Density doesn’t need to go up. So he’s looking at an extra density, extra allowance for number of floors in return for an allocation of affordable housing. Yeah, so that’s a trade that’s underweight, which is healthy. Other things I’m seeing touted are a return to that medium-density, townhome calm terraced home design. So there’s a lot of common sense stuff coming out where they are calling out the limitations of the great urban sprawl and, you know, in Sydney will pick on Sydney, near Sydney into the basin. And it’s kind of running out of space and pushing into floodplains as the last resort of a place where places where you can build cheaply, it makes no sense you’re not building cheaply, you’re just effectively kicking the can down the road until it floods. And then when it floods, you can’t get insurance and none of us will get insurance. And certainly you’ll pay the price long-term global warming, I don’t know, climate change, it doesn’t matter who you attribute the cause to what you attribute the cause to it’s happening, right? So floods will be more frequent, more common, more severe, and these areas that we’re building are wrong and so the politicians are calling that out correctly.

Michael 10:54
And it’s funny, you mentioned going back to what we’ve done. I mean, if you look back, and in Sydney, in particular, there was a lot of terrace houses, and there was a lot of yoga. And it’s almost like the way we did it at one point. So we kind of at that stage knew and we pivoted away. And now perhaps it’s more coming back to that type of style of housing that we once had and.

Kent 11:11
True. There’s a great story online that talks about the history of why they stopped doing it. And the government of the time, they were the places where there were slumps. So effectively, when there were whether it be health related issues, or disease being spread or crime or other things. After the depression, they kind of blamed will it be it appeared that the the local government is in Sydney, they blame terrace house, and they never got past it. So the planning minister that highlighted this at the time was Rob Stokes. There’s a great story online about it. This is what happened to the terrorists. And effectively, we never got back on track. So they were effectively banned. And it never climbed back again. yet. I think anyone who walks through a new town or a Paddington in Sydney loves the vibe of the plot.

Michael 12:02
Now it’s part of the charm of the suburb.

Kent 12:04
It’s part of the charm. So why wouldn’t you do more than that? I’ve just read something from I think his name’s Matt Endicott. And it was just a post that came out locally in Newcastle this morning, about an hour ago and highlighting this same point. That’s why it’s top of mind. And he was saying we should be focusing on a number of these suburbs should be looking at that style of dwelling. And so Alleluiah, because I’ve lived in a terrorist before in Newtown. And it was on 127 square meters. So quite a bigger block with a lot of them are on 70 or 80 square meters, yet they feel quite private that because of the design, you’ve got your own little courtyard out the back, and I think they’re a wonderful approach to medium density.

Michael 12:46
Yeah. And I just thought I had that thought, because you’d mentioned and I was like, Well, yeah, we used to do it. And we obviously stopped and.

Kent 12:51
And that’s what happened and you know, whether it be disease or whatever it might have been, there was a government hand in stopping it. And that effectively put an end to it. And we never really caught up again.

Michael 13:05
We’re seeing a lot of duplex, I guess, style of housing. Now that’s coming up and cropping up in the differences. And that’s not, I don’t think it’s gonna have the same impact that something like a terrorist.

Kent 13:13
It doesn’t have the same impact. You know, we went into all these new sites and these Greenfield sites and just started building 345 100 square meter lots and imagine if they could have been 75,80,100 square meter lots.

Michael 13:27
Well, yeah, no, no, it’s it’s you raising a lot of food for thought there. And I guess that’s that’s what politicians I’m assuming of today are considering and

Kent 13:35
Their honor, what diet they’re not ignoring it. It’s just the problem is you can’t turn this problem around on a dime.

Michael 13:41
No, no, because you’ve got to appeal to the, to the consensus and to the community. And I think there is a sentiment in the community about this type of dwelling in this high density, I guess, type of living, which we as a community probably need to start to embrace as well. So I guess that’s a challenge of the politicians.

Kent 13:57
Yeah. I mean, that’s what the city should be anyway. Yeah. You know, and there’s a lot of airspace above public transport. And there has been a lot of nimbyism. So if you talk to a lot of locals in and around these inner city locations, they don’t want cauterize nearby. So that’s the trade-off. That’s the hard decision. I’m glad I’m not a politician.

Michael 14:18
Exactly. And I guess as the Times change, and and our needs as a society change, I guess so to where were we I guess, eventually, and then we’ll start to probably embrace these types of changes that I guess need to address these issues. Now. Bringing it all together. I guess for first home buyers, how does the rental pain index and the you know, the data that’s coming out of that? How does it affect first-home buyers in particular?

Kent 14:39
I think the biggest problem we’ve got for first homebuyers is how do they save a deposit if they’re in the rental market. And so what we’ve got is a real problem where we’ve got a cohort of people in the rental market that are effectively locked out or not part of the social housing, public housing. So Uh, you know, they’re trapped in a rental market spiral spending 30, 35, 40% of their household income, you can’t save much of a deposit if you’re spending 35 or 40% of your household income on rent, after fuel and food and whatever. So we’ve really created a situation where the only first home buyers that are going to be successful are going to be those living at home, or from a wealthy family. So suddenly, the postcode or the family that you’re from determines whether you can enter the housing market or not. And again, it’s that we’re stepping away from that egalitarian fair-go attitude, it’s gone.

Michael 15:42
Yeah. And I guess that’s what’s been happening in our society, as we’ve developed as a nation where 50 years is more advanced than what we were, obviously, 50 years ago. And so it’s a pretty basic statement. But it seems to be and you alluded to it that not that the rich are getting richer, but the people that have property can now leverage that. And so I see a lot of guarantor types of loans and those types because they just can’t make up the deposit. So you’re relying on your parents having that asset or to leverage off and if you don’t, well, then all of a sudden, you’re in a more difficult situation. And then you get segregated and you can’t potentially buy even though you might have the borrowing capacity, potentially, but you don’t have the deposit. And if you depending on how that works, but there are incentives and that the government is coming up with things that you know, they’re contributing, so you’re not paying LMI with a 5% deposit and things like that. So I guess that’s helping it out as well. But yeah, definitely, the higher rents mean, less saving, and that definitely affects.

Kent 16:28
All work, I think people have got to take responsibility and pick their parents better.

Michael 16:31
Right. So that’s a good point. I’ll say if we can do that might start a podcast on how we can do that. But I don’t know. That’s, that’s what a bit of a bit of a non-movie that I don’t think we can do much about that. So if we’re looking at the current market at sub-trends, you also do a lot of reporting around the current state of the market in general. So obviously, we’re focused on that rental pain index. But I’d love to hear some of your insights about how things are looking at the moment for anyone about to purchase their first home. What is the property market looking like right now? And how you’re seeing things?

Kent 16:58
Yeah, it’s a fascinating time very hard to pick. If I start nationally, I don’t like to do it because it’s always markets where the markets it’s I kind of liked it like an apt to say there’s about probably 500 markets using the Statistical Area three, or the ESA three, which we covered last time. So region by region, market conditions vary a lot. But if I was started that macro level, I would say that things are still I would argue that the market on the whole is slowing slowly. listings are very, very down and trended down, that’s keeping prices up. But if you balance out how much listings are relative to how many properties are selling, I would argue that the market slightly softened. So inventory levels are slightly higher, because demands dropped off, because of the things we’ve just mentioned is that, you know, we’ve got loan serviceability, we’re adding 3% buffer on top of the tarp, and it’s probably not going to go up again, we shouldn’t be adding 3% on now, we should be adding half or 1% as the buffer, and then that would open up the market a little bit more. Yeah. So I would, I would argue, because of that loan, serviceability calculator issue, demand is dropped off slightly more, then the listings drop off, which tells me that at a macro level at a countrywide level, at the market slightly softer, but prices are holding up rather well, because there’s just no listings out there.

Michael 18:33
Yeah. And that’s that’s sort of been the case for the last couple of months hasn’t it? Where, because of the lack of stock, the market has been in a bit of a holding pattern with prices. But if you were to influx it with a bit of stock, it would open Pandora’s Box, potentially.

Kent 18:46
It would we’re not truly testing the market. And I think what’s underwriting This is the fact that pipeline supplies awful. And that we’ve got if you look at the amount of developers builders that have gone under, look at their cost. It’s amazing. I was warned of this about two years ago. Really? Yeah, that you know, three years ago, so it might have been from the institute, the builders Institute, housing industry waiting Well, one election. Yeah. And yeah, they just got a little tap on the shoulder and said, Look, you know, they’re gonna be probably a third of the builders and developers are under a lot of stress and might disappear in the next 12 months. Yeah.

Michael 19:26
And that’s, and that happened. Yeah, it’s happened. It’s almost like almost daily, you read the news, and another, another one’s gone.

Kent 19:30
Another one’s gone. And that’s, you know, it’s like, we’d love to hate property developers. But yeah, you know, this is what happens right? Where you don’t if you don’t have any stock, people decide, well, I can’t find anything to buy. Therefore, I’m not going to list my property and sell. And we’ve got this situation where we all thought that the abundance of baby boomers sitting in these rather large three and four bedroom houses, empty nesters are still holding on still staying put They don’t really want to live in a retirement home. They’d prefer a nice small house, low maintenance, whatever. But they can’t find them because that particular style of property has been snapped up. There’s not many of those on the market, which goes back to our opening conversation. Imagine, imagine a nice little terrace home in a rumor, right? You know, I’d sell up in Sutherland, and I’ve moved down to neuroma.

Michael 20:22
But where is it? It’s not there.

Kent 20:26
What’s not there? It doesn’t exist.

Michael 20:29
So you can’t sell? And I guess Yeah, that’s that’s what’s been holding the property prices to the extent that they are considering, like you mentioned, the borrowing capacities have been hit majorly, in the last 12 months. And even some lenders have actually introduced, they’re called mortgage prisoners basically. And if someone can’t get access to a better rate, because they’re on a higher rate, and you know, adding that 3% On the right now it doesn’t allow them to service. Some lenders allow you now to use 1% Borrowing buffer.

Kent 20:53
I think it was Westpac was on a call earlier this week. And I think Westpac would we’re tabling this.

Michael 20:58
well, they’ve got it. So Westpac, St. George, and okay, and the other one is our ANZ. There’s a little bit different. But Westpac in St. George habit, the problem that I find with that as a broker is, it depends what the rate starts at. So sometimes there are lenders out there that provide a better rate. And so you’re adding that 1% On to the rate that they’re going to end up on. And so if they’re already 1%, higher than a rate that you can get with another bank,

Kent 21:20

The same effect.

Michael 21:22
Exactly. And so what I’m finding is that even though I can get access to that policy for some of our clients, it’s still not assisting them, because we can’t get a lower rate to base that 1% Because they’ve suddenly increased. And that’s where I started, and why would they be doing this? And, you know, anyway, these are more general observations that I’m finding and but it is what it is. And that’s where borrowing capacity is of being it’s a conversation I have daily with my clients about Yeah, it’s not what it used to be in terms of borrowing capacity. And this is what it is. And with the rates always going up, it’s that conversation. It’s now a little bit less than what it was this time. Last one now, this month held, which is good. And hopefully, that’s not going to be the case anymore. It’ll be interesting to see what that looks like. And I guess this leads into my next question, what you know, and what you’ve seen happened. And I guess, with your experience in the market, what are you expecting to see over the next say six months with housing pricing?

Kent 22:05
I think more of the same, because my forecasts are that listings volumes is dropping. Now, something might shift, something might change. But I’ve just finished an analysis for the AFR. And I just just effectively was predicting what the listings volumes are leading into spring. So I just did a rather simple model with my friend chatGPT code interpreter, put in the time series data did the trend fit, and it just came up with effectively a rather significant fall in percentage of listings. So if that holds true, and these models are, there’s lots of assumptions that need to hold for this. So if that holds true and listings volumes, stay where they are even go down further, I just say what we’ve seen in the last six months is what we’ll see in the next six months because the situation hasn’t changed much. The only thing that’s changed is interest rates have leveled out, it doesn’t look like that fear factor is there anymore. One thing I do see continuing, however, is the crowding out, or the effectively the ripple effect moving into the more affordable spots. Okay, so a lot of investors are still flushing out and finding and probing and looking for the under 400 or the under 500. So if I ever put a report up on my website as a download free download whatnot, it’s always the under 510 to one ratio, Best Buy’s under 500 Best Buys under whatever. And yeah, I do them in price brackets, and it’s always the lowest price bracket. One is a ratio of probably 10 to one download. So that tells you a lot about where the sentiment is.

Michael 23:46
All right. And I guess that’s that holding pattern, I think I think one of the triggers that may pivot that particular holding pattern is when rates do drop, and maybe borrowing capacities do increase. And it’ll be to see when that happens. And as to when that happens. We’re not sure obviously, we’re tackling that bigger issue of inflation. And that’s another conversation, which is, you know, which can lead to another topic, which I don’t want to get into at the moment. But um, but yeah, it’s at the moment that I agree with you I seem to feel like it is going to be it’s still a holding pattern as things leveled out and not normalised but become the new normal, I guess.

Kent 24:14
Yeah. And there’s no pipeline supplies. So you can’t say that there’s a white knight coming in, in the form of new stock. Yeah. And of course, they if that fell off a cliff talking about the mortgage, what about the pipeline building approval cliff, and it’s not just building approvals, and you’ve got to apply the completion rate, which has dropped. So you know, the stuff coming on, it’s just dried up. Now, how do you fix that? That’s where you need the government to intervene because the market hasn’t sorted itself out. It’s as far away from laissez-faire as you can imagine the housing market, right? The government’s got its hand all over it. So guess what, you know, your hands are all on it. You break it, you fix it?

Michael 24:51
No, it’s true. But it’s not a free market at all. It is very much stipulated by the government, whether it’s local, whether it’s state, and federal. And there are so many so much red tape and so many things I have to work out and rightly so I guess to some extent, but at the end of the day, if it’s the handbrake.

Kent 25:08
Is breaks, if something goes wrong, you’ve got ownership of the problem because the markets not allowed to fix itself.

Michael 25:14
Yep. What would you biggest piece of advice for anyone looking to purchase their home in the current market? Be there first time?

Kent 25:19
Look at the moment, affordability is probably the hot thing, affordable property types good location. So I would argue and this is probably the same argument that any old school conservative value I would have told me 30, 40 years ago, was, you know, look for something you can afford in a good spot look for something with some scarcity. So you know, what would that look like? That pretty much looks like a walk-up unit. A walk-up unit near rail looks pretty dang good to me. As a first-time buyer, just don’t overdo it. Don’t overcook it. And then if you’re kind of one step back and still working on that deposit, suck it up and get along with the parents or the you know, the in-laws, whatever, just live in the granny flat live in the garage for a year or two. And just get that income up, because you don’t want to be spending it all on, on rent. So get your deposit up by living in the garage and suck it up and don’t get the fancy car.

Michael 26:16
Yeah, or the trip to Europe.

Kent 26:19
Yeah, don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Hunker down. It’s the same advice we all got 30, 40 years ago has not changed.

Michael 26:21
Your Instagram might not be too happy Instagram profile, all the nice pictures.

Kent 26:25
Well, it’s all fake crap anyway. Right?

Michael 26:27
Yeah, it’s a good point. That’s a good point. I think first time buyers need to understand that if they are looking to purchase a home, there’s got to be sacrifice. And it’s that delayed gratification, it’s definitely something is going to serve you better in the long run. So if it means moving in with mom and dad or your in laws, or and just do it and focus on getting that deposit up. Alright, so some final thoughts. Two questions. I want to finish up one. The first one is, in your opinion, what should first homebuyers prioritise in their search for their first home? If they’re looking at one thing in particular? And we might have already touched on this? What would it be that you would want them to prioritise?

Kent 26:59
Look for the crappy carpet and the crappy paint? Okay, yeah, look for that. And don’t step away from that and say, I want the refined Polish perfect. Yeah. You know, look for the stuff that other people are overlooking or step away from, you know, when I hear someone say yet, the house has got really dirty old carpet and overgrown at the open house. I go brilliant, because that’s going to knock out 1/3 of the buyers. So look for the ugly, but you know, and then the other thing is, the position won’t change. Yeah, the position the walking distance to the rail won’t change.

Michael 27:31
Yeah. And you mentioned that the walk walk up unit close to the rail, I think amenities totally. What’s one thing you wish you knew before you bought your first home?

Kent 27:38
What I wanted to do long term, and probably two parts of that, what I wondered long term and work harder on getting my wife to share that vision. Yeah, okay, there was a disconnect between what I thought was the future horizon. So the example was, we bought a lovely art deco apartment in Coogee, but I wanted to buy for the same price a house in Belrose near my wife’s parents, because I said, when we have kids, much more convenient, etc. Now let’s compare and contrast that that same price property back then that unit 900k. Now, the house that we would have bought and Belrose 2.3, 2.4. Now Wow, that’s the difference, same price, and I could almost guarantee we probably would have been living still in that same first house.

Michael 28:37
Okay, so you went to you went the apartment path.

Kent 28:39
We went the apartment in Coogee, then we went to a house in in a western Balmain had a really big mortgage, because we had an investment property as well. I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t handle the big mortgage and irrational, but it was just hey, I am who I am. Right. So I didn’t handle that stress of just not knowing even though I had a good job in LMI, and whatever, I didn’t like it. So that pressure I thought let’s let’s deal with this kid came along. And we said let’s pack up and sell the house in Balmain. And we moved into a rental property we already owned in Newcastle. So my wife didn’t have to go back to work. And the mortgage was really, really small and easy to wipe out. And so that we did that just to de-stress our life. It wasn’t the best thing in terms of wealth building, but it was health building.

Michael 29:26
Yeah, well, life is more than wealth so.

Kent 29:29
So that was it. So I’m a data analytics guy. I’m not the guy that’s got the big portfolio. That’s not me. I just I doubled down on just putting my money into super, because I didn’t like the stress of property management, whatever. So yes, it’s horses for courses, what individual people like I like to superannuation, yeah, approach. But yeah, so to answer the question, what I would have done is just make sure that I had the shared values and shared shared that vision with my wife a little bit better.

Michael 29:59
Yeah. It was the first time I’ve asked that question. And I think that what you’ve raised, there is pure gold. Because having that conversation, and most importantly, with your partner at the time, that what your long term plans, I don’t I don’t think many first home buyers, if any, would be doing that I definitely try not when my first time buyer clients, I will always ask, what’s the next step. And I’ve been in that situation where I purchased my first home, I’ve, you know, married, had kids had that whole Old need to move out, need more space, all that sort of stuff. So I’ve seen that, and I didn’t have that conversation before I started. And maybe your asset selection might be different. Or maybe you’ll save a little bit longer so you can get that house or whatever that may be as opposed to the unit just to get in. So it’s a really interesting question and response. And I think there’s a lot in there. And it’s just as simple as a conversation and some steps and some strategies, perhaps when it’s purchasing that first property. So I think that’s a great tip. Thank you for that.

Kent 30:51
That’s pretty hard because that was 31 years ago. It really hard to then compare and contrast at that to what a young couple or young individual might be faced with for the day but the principle should be the same.

Michael 31:00
Totally the same. I would think as well. Yeah. Cool.
That’s a great answer. Thank you for that and thank you again for joining us on the show today. If our listeners want to find out about you where they can see you know your Suburb finder and things like that. Where’s the best place they can get intouch with you?

Kent 31:13
Yeah. Just visit, we’ve relaunched the website and we’ve doubled down on chatgpt.

Michael 31:25
Yeah, that’s interesting. I’m gonna be checking that myself. Yeah, that’s where people. Find the links on the show notes as well, thank you for joining us on the show, and thank you for your valuable insights. Thank you so much.

Kent 31:32
Thank you

Michael 31:33

No problems at all.

Michael 31:34
You’ve been listening to the home run your guide for buying your first home in Australia. This podcast was produced by Lendstreet. Lendstreet is a mortgage broker and home loan specialist that helps first home buyers find the right loan to meet their needs. We know applying for a loan can be overwhelming and complex, so we help guide and support first home buyers through the process from start to finish. To find out more, head to our website We’ve also put a link in the show notes to make sure you don’t miss an episode of the home run. Be sure to subscribe to or follow the show in your podcast app, and while you’re there, please leave us a five-star review. It really helps others find the show. I’m Michael Nasser and we’ll be back next episode, covering another step on the journey to owning your first home.