While The country is not yet out of the flu pandemic, Australians are optimistic about the housing market.
Australians believe the property market is on the mend, according to ME’s latest quarterly property sentiment report. The report, conducted last month, showed that 38 per cent of respondents had a “positive” view of the national property market — a result only four percentage points lower than the same report in October 2019 and a significant improvement from 29 per cent in April 2020.
When comparing the mood at the start of the epidemic with the present, fewer Australians are worried about a fall in the value of their property. As of October, 49 per cent of respondents were concerned about the value of their homes, compared with 64 per cent in April.
The biggest increase in the report came from residents of New South Wales, where 29 per cent of Sydney residents were optimistic about the market in April, up from 42 per cent in October.
In the latest ABS housing finance data, the amount of loans taken out to buy homes suggests Australians are fairly sanguine about the property. In September alone, volumes rose 5.9 per cent, taking the quarterly increase to 20 per cent — the highest quarterly increase on record.
A two-speed market story
While most homeowners (or buyers) say they are more confident about buying or selling a home, the study falls into two schools. A total of 57 per cent of respondents said they were in no hurry and planned to delay any action until the COVID-19 situation “improves”, while 43 per cent said they sought to buy or sell “as soon as possible”.
There is no doubt that first-time buyers are now the most likely group to take advantage of the market slowdown, up 7 percentage points since October 2019 to 53 per cent this year. Despite the growing optimism and optimism about house prices, many buyers and sellers will prefer to stay on the sidelines.
Regional initiatives continue to gain in popularity
According to the study, work-at-home arrangements continue to influence more people to buy homes in rural areas.
By June, 68 per cent of respondents were confident buyers would go to rural areas, and by October that had risen to 78 per cent. Even 50 per cent of respondents said they would consider buying homes in rural areas themselves, up from 45 per cent in the previous quarter. House prices across the region have reversed modest declines in the past two months. Residential values in the region have risen 1.7 per cent in the seven months since March, while the value of the combined Capitals Index has fallen 2.3 per cent.
The new popularity of working from home is just one factor helping to prop up prices in the area. More affordable price points, lower population density and lower lifestyle factors.
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