Streets Ahead

Genworth’s Homebuyer Confidence Index report, Streets Ahead, is released biannually and outlines the changing attitudes and confidence levels of Australian Homeowners and Non-Property Owners about their mortgage and the overall property market.

Streets Ahead: Edition 12 – March 2016

In this edition of Streets Ahead, Genworth’s national Homebuyer Confidence Index drops to 98.2 from 99.6 in September 2015, after three consecutive increases.

Some of the key findings include:
  • National homebuyer confidence remains strong: dips for the first time since March 2014
  • The belief that now is a good time to buy a home falls
  • Accessibility continues to be the main barrier to purchasing a first home
  • First homebuyer confidence decreases
  • South Australians are the most confident, with falls in all other states.

To download Streets Ahead Edition 12 click here

To read Streets Ahead Edition 12 online click here

Streets Ahead: Edition 11 – September 2015

Genworth's national Homebuyer Confidence Index rises by 0.4% to 99.6 in the six months to September 2015.

Some of the highlights include:

  • National homebuyer confidence reaches a new post-GFC high
  • Australians less likely to believe it is a good time to buy property
  • Accessibility continues to be the biggest barrier
  • First homebuyer confidence falls
  • Accessibility continues to be the biggest barrier
  • Consumer perception of the state of the housing market.

Click here to download

Click here to read online

Streets Ahead: Broker insights – March 2015

To commemorate the release of Genworth’s 10th edition of the Streets Ahead report we have undertaken a tailored analysis to reveal the insights on the broker segment, broker customers and their sentiments towards the Australian Mortgage Market.


Streets Ahead: Edition 10 – March 2015

Genworth's Homebuyer Confidence Index rises to 99.2 in March from 98.1 in September 2014.

Some of the highlights include:

  • FHB confidence increased to a record high of 102.1 in March 2015 from 98.4 in September 2014
  • Homeowners who believe that now is a good time to buy increased from 41% to a record high of 52%
  • The time taken to source a deposit has decreased as the proportion of First Homebuyers using non-savings sources for their deposit increases from 46% of buyers in 2009 to 57% of buyers in 2014.

Streets Ahead: Edition 9 – September 2014

Genworth’s Homebuyer Confidence Index rises to 98.1 in September from 90.8 in March 2014.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Homebuyer confidence is up in all states driven by 13 months of historically low interest rates
  • Homeowners experiencing mortgage stress has almost halved
  • First Homebuyer confidence increases to 98.4 in September, up from 82.3 in March 2014
  • One-third of Australian households cite affordability as a barrier to homeownership.

Streets Ahead: Edition 8 – March 2014

71% of FHBs think the Australian dream of owning your own home is realistic, up from 63% in September 2013.

Some of the key highlights from the report include:

  • National homebuyer confidence decreases slightly from 92.4 to 90.8
  • 28% of homeowners struggled with mortgage repayments in the past year
  • One in three prospective FHBs are finding it difficult to save for a deposit
  • 71% of prospective FHBs think the dream of homeownership remains realistic
  • 42% of Australians believe now is a good time to buy a home.

Streets Ahead: Edition 7 – September 2013

National homebuyer confidence has decreased by 1.1% from 93.4 to 92.4 between March 2013 and September 2013.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index drops by 1.1% from 93.4 in March to 92.4
  • 1 in 2 homeowners struggling with mortgage stress cite employment concerns as the cause
  • FHB confidence slipped marginally from 85.9 in March 2013 to 85.0 in September 2013
  • 51% of non-property owners believe homeownership to be realistic
  • 46% believe that now is a good time to buy a home.

Streets Ahead: Pulse Check – July 2013

Some of the highlights include:

  • Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index (HCI) rises 7.2% to its highest ever level
  • Australian homeowners optimistic with anticipated hardship decreasing 37%
  • First homebuyer confidence increases to its highest ever level at 99.9
  • The Australian dream of homeownership is considered unrealistic by 70% of surveyed non-property owners
  • Housing affordability is holding back would-be homeowners with 26% of would-be homeowners experiencing difficulty saving for their 20% deposit.


Streets Ahead: Edition 6 – March 2013

Some key findings from the March 2013 edition of Streets Ahead: Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index:

  • First homebuyers (FHBs) who think ‘now is a good time to buy’ dips
  • Concerns about unemployment and underemployment drive increase in mortgage stress
  • Australians continue to focus on paying down debt
  • Changes to First Home Owners Grant in Queensland and New South Wales impacts FHB sentiment
  • Western Australia stays in front despite falls in confidence across all states, New South Wales suffered the largest decrease
  • SMSFs increase their property exposure.


Streets Ahead: Edition 5 – September 2012

Some key findings from the September 2012 edition of the Streets Ahead: Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index:

  • ↑ 2.2% The increase in the Genworth HCI from March 2012, a post-GFC high
  • 49% of respondents believe now is a good time to buy a home, up 10% since March
  • 82% of survey respondents are confident in their ability to make their mortgage repayments, another post-GFC high
  • ↑ 7.7% the largest increase in confidence experienced by a state - Victoria. All states saw an increase except for Tasmania, with Western Australia maintaining its lead
  • ↓ 0.5% in first homebuyer confidence bringing it in-line with national confidence.


Streets Ahead: Edition 4 – March 2012

The Homebuyer Confidence Index (HCI) is up 2.1%, the same level as March 2011. The first upward movement in sentiment since 2009 when cash rates were last lowered; with 39% of respondents believing that now is a good time to buy a home.


Streets Ahead: Edition 3 – September 2011

The Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index fell slightly for the third consecutive period in September 2011, down 2% from March 2011. The continuing erosion in borrower sentiment in the last six months was primarily driven by increasing levels of actual and expected mortgage stress with expectations of mortgage hardship back to 2008 levels. Against a backdrop of deteriorating global and domestic economic conditions, the main concern for more and more struggling borrowers is the rising cost of living.


Streets Ahead: Edition 2 – March 2011

In the 2010 index released in September last year, we found homebuyer confidence was on a delicate balance as borrowers remained cautious about rising interest rates and higher costs of living. The March 2011 Index, based on a survey of consumers conducted in February 2011, finds the recent devastating natural disasters have weighed heavily on confidence with growing debt discomfort and higher incidences of mortgage stress in affected states causing the index to fall by 1.5% from 2010 levels. Indeed, national homebuyer sentiment would have increased by 0.8% if it wasn’t for the drop in consumer sentiment in Queensland and Western Australia – the states’ most affected by events of the past summer.

Genworth’s hardship data, which helps paint a clearer picture of borrower distress, tells a similar story. Total hardship requests increased by over 70% in 2011 (to mid-March) compared to the same period last year. Nearly half (40%) of these requests were natural disaster-related, mainly driven by the flooding in Queensland.


Streets Ahead: Edition 1 – September 2010

In this inaugural edition of the report, we launch the Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index (GHCI), a single measure of borrower and would-be borrower sentiment, which shows homebuyer confidence is back to pre-Global Financial Crisis levels.

We find rising employment and historically low interest rates are the primary drivers behind Australian consumers’ upbeat outlook. Higher levels of employment helped homebuyers to meet their mortgage repayments over the past year, with 49% of respondents over-paying their mortgage—up from 41% in 2009.

Although confidence is high and findings suggest most borrowers continue to be comfortable with their debt levels and capacity to pay their mortgage, the strong performance of the Australian economy brings with it an expectation of increasing interest rates and rising inflation. The result of these changes is that increasing repayments and a rising cost of living may affect mortgage holders in the year ahead.


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