Australians optimistic on housing market

by AB27 Feb 2014
Good news for brokers – the majority of Australians surveyed for housing market sentiment research think now is a good time to buy property.

The results of the January RP Data - Nine Rewards housing market sentiment survey saw 1,047 participants answer a range of questions on what they expected from Australia’s property market over the next six to twelve months.
Seventy-six percent of those surveyed think it is a good time to buy property now. While the overall results showed that Australian’s are generally positive about the housing market, the proportion is now lower than the results of a year ago (80%), but slightly higher than October last year (74%).
The survey showed that just over three quarters of all respondents think it is currently a good time to purchase a home, with the most optimistic responses coming from respondents in areas where dwelling values have not shown a substantial rise over the current growth cycle.
However, the response from residents of Sydney and Melbourne, where dwelling values have shown a substantial level of growth over recent cycles, was more pessimistic.
Half of the survey respondents expected dwelling values to rise over the next six months compared with just 38% a year ago, while only 5% of respondents are expecting values to fall over the next half year.
Just over half (56%) of those surveyed expected values to rise over the next twelve months, compared with 51% a year ago.
RP Data national research director Tim Lawless said it is clear most Australians remain positive about which direction house values are going.
“However, most respondents who think values will rise over the coming six and twelve months have fairly measured expectations of value growth with most suggesting values are likely to rise by less than 5% over the coming year.”
Survey respondents were also asked whether they thought the Australian housing market was vulnerable to a significant correction in dwelling values, and 60% of respondents indicated they thought this may happen.
Lawless said that the high proportion of respondents showing concern about a material correction in dwelling values highlights that, despite the strong housing market conditions, there is an underlying concern amongst consumers about the sustainability of the growth in Australian dwelling values.
“While most respondents think values will continue to rise, it is interesting to note that most respondents are also concerned about the sustainability of dwelling values. At the same time we are seeing transaction numbers continuing to rise and auction clearance rates that are at near record highs. This suggests that market demand remains high despite these concerns," Lawless said.
“The ongoing debate about a housing market bubble is clearly an issue that has the potential to dampen housing market sentiment, particularly in markets such as Sydney and Melbourne where home values tend to be higher.”