Goodbye job applications, hello dream career
Seize control of your career and design the future you deserve with LW career

Lawyers buy property younger and pay more than other Australians

New research shows that legal professionals are more inclined to get onto the property ladder at an earlier stage of life and also buy more expensive homes than their non-lawyer counterparts across the country.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 08 June 2023 Big Law
expand image

Mortgage broking firm for lawyers, Legal Home Loans (LHL), has published its Unveiling the Legal Advantage report, which aims to shed light on home loan trends for practitioners across the country. The data for the report was drawn from 776 applicants across 610 home loan records, with the average age of lawyers for the data being 38 years and with a 51-49 gender split between females and males, respectively.

Last week, Lawyers Weekly reported that the average repayments for lawyers with mortgages increased, from January last year to this January, from $3,189 to $4,289 — an increase of $1,100.

That average will almost certainly increase in the near future, in light of the Reserve Bank’s decision earlier this week to increase the cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.1 per cent – its highest level since 2012.


Lawyers buying younger than non-lawyers

LHL’s research also shows that legal professionals show a greater proclivity for entering the property market than other Australians.

Last year, three in five (59 per cent) loans were attributable to property purchases, and among the owner-occupied category, 35 per cent represented first-time home purchases by lawyers. This beat out the national average of nearly 25 per cent of new loans made by the general Australian population, LHL detailed.

“These findings suggest that legal professionals displayed a greater inclination to engage in property acquisition, despite the volatility of the real estate market caused by interest rate increases,” the broking firm outlined.

“Factors such as job security and the benefits associated with being a legal professional likely played a significant role in influencing this behaviour.”

The average deposit for lawyers buying property for the first time was $140,838 in the past year, compared to $113,113 for non-lawyers, while the average loan size for legal professionals was $714,027, in contrast to an average loan of $481,368 for non-practitioners.

Moreover, LHL continued, the median age for lawyers buying their first property is 31 years, compared to the national median of 34 years.

The average income of lawyers buying a home for the first time currently sits at $132,745, which is 25 per cent higher than the average Australian’s salary.

“This emphasises the legal professional advantage, enabling them to purchase higher-value properties at a younger age and enter the property market earlier than the typical Australian,” LHL wrote.

More than three in five first home buyers in law were able to secure loans that exceeded 80 per cent of the property price, the report added, without the need for lenders mortgage insurance, as a result of legal professional status.

Lawyers spending big in affluent areas

Elsewhere, LHL’s research found that legal professionals across Australia are buying properties that are, on average, 35 per cent more expensive than the average property across the country.

Lawyers, the broking firm wrote, purchased properties in the last year with “an impressive price” of $1,123,806, exceeding the national average property value of $881,200 by a sizable 35 per cent.

“This disparity can be attributed to legal professionals having higher serviceability, allowing them the opportunity to acquire properties of higher value in affluent suburbs,” LHL wrote.

Lawyers also currently possess properties that, on average, have a value of $1,090,918 — which surpasses the average price of dwellings at $881,200 nationwide by a margin of 20 per cent.

As aforementioned by the broking firm, lawyers are “gravitating” towards “affluent and desirable” suburbs in metropolitan areas of major cities.

This inclination, LHL surmised, reflects lawyers’ lifestyle preferences and their desire for proximity to central business districts, despite remote-working changes following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suburbs that lawyers are inclined to buy into include Balmain and Surry Hills in NSW, Richmond in Victoria, Kingston in the ACT, Ashgrove in Queensland, Darlington in Western Australia, and Bowden in South Australia.

“Findings from the [recently released] National Profile of Solicitors indicate that over half of legal professionals practice in city locations nationwide, which could be attributed to the abundance of job opportunities available in such areas,” LHL noted.

“This, in turn, explains their greater inclination to reside in metropolitan locations.”

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!