More than two-thirds of respondents in a recent survey believe that the conditions are right to purchase a home – a level of confidence not seen since the onset of the pandemic.
Finder’s latest consumer sentiment survey, which involved a nationally representative sample of more than 20,300 respondents, found that 67% of Australians feel that now is a suitable time get on the property ladder, up from 42% last April.
This marked the first time that home-buying optimism has reached this level since the financial comparison site started tracking the metric in May 2019.
Confidence was highest in Adelaide, where 77% of those polled thought now is the right time to buy a home. This was followed by Melbourne’s 70%, Brisbane’s 69%, Perth’s 67%, and Sydney’s 59%. Numbers were not available for Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart.
Those expecting house prices in their areas to “significantly increase” also hit an all-time high of 19%, climbing from just 5% in September last year.
Meanwhile, respondents who anticipate property values to “somewhat increase” rose to 44% from a low of 18% back in April.
Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, said that the recent spike home-buyer optimism was a good indication of economic recovery.
“This rebound in buyer confidence is indicative of increased economic activity over the past few months, along with an optimistic outlook for 2021,” he said. “Not only did the Australian government do a better job than most at restricting the spread of COVID-19, but federal and state economic support measures helped prop up the property market.”
Cooke said that property prices in every capital city, expect for Melbourne, have reached a higher level compared to the same time last year, adding that he expected “this trajectory to continue,” especially with 86% of economists in a separate Finders survey predicting a full recovery of national house values this year.
However, Cooke advised prospective buyers to carefully consider the pros and cons “before taking the plunge in the current market.”
“Low interest rates and government assistance packages like the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme put buyers in a strong position. The potential removal of stamp duty in NSW will be another boon for buyers and may spread to other states,” he said. “If you're thinking about dipping your toe in the market this year, make sure you have a strong credit history, and shop around before signing up for a home loan.”