The time has come for you to start taking the plunge and get your shopping done more efficiently, according to a new survey.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said more than 80% of Australians have been shopping for a new home recently, but less than half of them are doing it the right way.
“What’s been happening in the last six months or so is that people are doing a lot of buying without looking at what the options are, whether they’re in a different region or whether they have an extra budget,” Dr Lisa Young, ABS assistant chief economist, told ABC News Breakfast.
Dr Young said the survey showed people were looking at their spending and not necessarily getting the best deal.
“A lot of people are spending more than they should,” she said.
“The more they’re shopping, the more they can afford, the better value they’re getting.”
For those who are able to make it work, Dr Young said they could be saving on their mortgage payments.
“If you can make it to your mortgage repayments and you can get that balance in the next three to six years, you’re likely to get some kind of discount on that house,” she explained.
The ABS survey showed the average Australian spent more than $50,000 a year on home and rental costs.
More than two-thirds of people had an extra $15,000 or more in savings, with a majority of those making $50-100,000 saving more than three times that amount.
While the survey also revealed a strong correlation between savings and the availability of housing, people were still saving more when it came to their bank accounts.
About 90% of those surveyed said they had an overdraft on a bank account.
That is more than triple the proportion who had a deposit on a savings account.
But it is the second-highest number of people who had an excess amount of money in their bank account (20%).
The ABS said there were signs people were not saving enough.
“In some parts of the country people are making less money than they used to,” Dr Young told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“They’re not saving more, they’re saving less.”
The ABS also said the biggest reason people were saving more was because they were “more confident they’ll get the best value”.
“We’ve seen a lot more of people with less than ideal spending habits,” she added.
“People are not spending enough on house and rental and they’re not spending as much on things that are important to them, like holidays and things that they want to have in their life.”ABS deputy chief economist Andrew Gough said people were “very happy” with the savings they were putting away, but he said it was still important they started by saving more.
“I think a lot is tied to whether or not people are going to make the extra money that they think they’re going to get and it’s the first step,” he said.
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