Suburban squeeze

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FIRST home buyers are being priced out of the market by interest rate rises and sky-rocketing utility prices.

Finance approvals to first home buyers have fallen to sixyear lows and made up 15.5 per cent of the total loans market in August, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday.

Comm Sec economist Savanth Sebastian said the numbers were well below a May 2009 peak of 28.5 per cent market share.

“The hangover effect from the first home buyer grant coupled with rate hikes mean people are finding it more difficult to buy,” he said.

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