Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a rare insight into the motivation behind first-time buyers when looking to purchase their first home. The factors driving demand preferences for detached housing are constantly changing and difficult to measure, and often deemed to be a complex bundle of attributes. Design/methodology/approach – The research in this paper is based on interviews with purchasers at a series of locations across Melbourne, Australia, who were actively seeking to purchase a home for the first time. The data were analysed using factor analysis to identify the core decision criteria in a new house that were most sought after.
Findings – The findings in this paper confirmed that “financial” issues accounted for approximately 30 percent of the actual decision by first-time buyers to purchase housing, where decisions relating to the timing and choice of housing are dependent on “site-specific” factors. Research limitations/implications – The research in this paper is aimed specifically at first time buyers only and the influencing factors behind their purchasing decisions.
Practical implications – The paper shows that, if consideration is given to the characteristics that first-time owners are looking for, providers of new housing would be better equipped to meet this demand and maximise construction efficiency. Originality/value – In the paper the emphasis was placed on identifying and analysing the decision criteria behind first-time buyers, which provided an invaluable insight into their concept of a suitable residence. Rather than analysing sales transactions after they have been completed, this research considers aspects of new houses that first-time owners are actively searching for, prior to making their purchase.
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