It's about to become a whole lot harder for first-home buyers, experts predict

More than three quarters of Queensland's legal professionals say it's about to get a whole lot harder for the state's first-home buyers.

That's according to a national study that shows Queenslanders were more pessimistic than the national average; 64 per cent said it would become more difficult.

The research, commissioned by Brisbane-based property company GlobalX, comes days after the Real Estate Institute of Australia reported a surge in first-home buyer activity, leading to hopes the affordability crisis was easing.

Stamp duty concessions and grants were helping, but were not nearly enough, GlobalX chief executive Peter Maloney said.

"Despite state governments taking significant steps to reduce red tape for younger buyers, unfortunately the state of the market means house prices are continuing to increase at a far greater rate than annual wages," he said.

"While the industry is encouraged by the recent surge in the number of first home buyers, it is skeptical that this trajectory will remain constant over the next 12 months.

"It was a record month for first-home buyers and there were just over 10,000 owner occupier finances given out. But we say one great month does not make a great year."

There were several factors that could tip the balance out of favour for first-home buyers, Mr Maloney said. Queensland's stamp duty concession was the lowest availble at $504,999 compared to NSW's $650,000 and uncertainty on the future of the $20,000 great start grant going into 2018.

"The other thing that's really challenging first-home buyers is that while the volume of sales seems to have settled there hasn't been much easing of affordability," Mr Malonely said. "For first-home buyers, one of the most important factors is the ability to save for a deposit."

The average time to save for a deposit was nearly five years in Queensland. Coupled with low wage increases and a weakened ability to save, this put first-home buyers at significant risk of being locked out of the market.

PRD Nationwide's research manager Dr Asti Mardiasmo last week released her hotspot report for the second half of 2017, where she highlighted that unaffordability in Brisbane was increasing.

"I agree with [Mr Maloney] to a certain extent," she said. "For Brisbane it won't be as bad or as scary as Sydney and Melbourne, though."

Wage growth was at a manageable level in Brisbane, Dr Mardiasmo said.

"The Brisbane market does grow but if you look at it historically, there has been a wage growth of 2.4 per cent.

"If you compare that in 1.5 per cent house price growth, [wage growth is] still on par with that house price growth."

However in the long term, Dr Mardiasmo said Brisbane would be in serious trouble without a rise in wage growth.

Failing that or a sudden drop in house prices, Mr Maloney said banks could do more to reduce pressure on first-home buyers.

The loan to value ratio is generally set a 80 per cent for finance, and Mr Maloney said increasing the ratio on properties the appreciate in value slower, like apartments, could be another potential solution.

"Maybe there's an opportunity to take this into account and give first home buyers more opportunity to enter the market."

This story It's about to become a whole lot harder for first-home buyers, experts predict first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.