What's causing Australians to build their own homes?

What should you look for in a brand-new home?

Moving into a house and making it your own is one of the most exciting events a person can go through – especially as a kid! There's nothing better than exploring the nooks and crannies of a place after the previous owner has moved all of their gear out of it, and that's made even more pleasant when nobody has ever lived in the home.

Many people with incredibly specific needs and requirements for a home will quit the search and build their own – it's not a terrible idea for some, either. More and more Australians are turning to building their own home to escape the hassles of the current competitive market. It might be a great move for you as well, although there are options available to take the stress out of the house-hunting process.

If you are in the market for a brand-new home, you'll currently be competing with all of the other people who are looking to build right now.

There isn't much of an escape from competing for property in Australia, whether or not you're actually buying a house. But what should you be looking for in a brand-new home, and where are the best places to build?

Buying new – a clean slate

What should you be looking for in a brand-new home, and where are the best places to build?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that growth in building approvals on a national level has grown by 0.6 per cent over the past 12 months. At state level, approvals in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have shot up the most: 18.9 per cent and 18.1 per cent respectively.

Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have also increased, although despite being the three strongest property markets right now, they're only showing higher figures ever so slightly. Queensland at 0.8 per cent, Victoria with 0.2 per cent and New South Wales showing 0.3 per cent growth in building approvals.

Typically, people who are building homes are doing so for themselves. You will occasionally stumble across a property developer who has sub-divided a block of land and is putting homes on multiple sections, and if that's the case, buying there is going to get you into a home that nobody else has put their own stamp on. That's a very attractive prospect for many people, although it won't happen all too often. A new home still has to meet your standards and be attractive – if you buy a property, old or new, and don't enjoy the way it flows, you aren't going to like spending time inside it. In this way, a buyer's agent can take all of your needs and wants for a home, compile a list and search for a place that would suit you down to the ground.

If old is your style, there will be plenty of available options for you, but if you'd rather go for something new, finding your perfect patch will be a job left to the professionals.

A photo posted by Melbourne (@visitmelbourne) on

What is happening with national sales?

SQM Research reports that, on a national level, an increase has been recorded in the number of home sales. Across the country, over the past year, home sales increased by 5.2 per cent, and a whole 4.1 per cent between March and April. The figure jumped from 347,966 to 366,151 – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have been the biggest contributors.

Sydney grew by 37.8 per cent to have 27,080 sales in April alone; Brisbane increased 12.8 per cent with 30,152 sales; and Melbourne only upped its figures by 8.4 per cent, but led the pack with 39,536. With these numbers, it's interesting to note the high new buildings rate.

There is clearly a plethora of available properties for sale, and being bought. So why do people still feel the need to build their own?

According to CommBank, they get to choose exactly what goes where, and how many bathrooms and bedrooms and media rooms there are. The outside spaces can be customised to any specification, including what amenities to include or leave out. You may have experienced the purchase of a home where you bought just so you could change it to make it work for you and your family. It might even have included something as major as filling in a pool!

With a buyer's agent working for you and finding your next home, compromise probably won't be a word you hear a whole lot. If you don't want a pool that badly, you won't see any at open homes. If you need five bedrooms or more, you'll only look through places with five bedrooms or more. This information might actually remove the need for you to think about building your very own place – you'll have an industry professional working for you who can find an existing option on the market already.

Talk to a buyer's agent from Cohen Handler today and let them start your next home-buying journey on the right foot.

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