Investor activity back to pre-Covid levels

While still outstripped by owner occupiers, number of new loan commitments in the sector on the up and up

Investor activity back to pre-Covid levels


By Madison Utley

The number of property investor loan commitments within Australia has returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Over the month of September, more than $5bn in new investor loan commitments were recorded, a value similar to February this year before COVID-19 had a material impact on the country; this increase in value was driven by a surge in the number of investor loan commitments which rose by more than 5% in September and 9% in August.

According to Your Property Your Wealth director and buyer’s agent, Daniel Walsh, enquiries from investors have soared over the past month.

“Enquiry is from both first-time and seasoned investors who are keen to take advantage of the low interest rate environment and purchase a property before prices rise any further,” Walsh said. 

“Many investors have been watching and waiting to see what happened to property prices during the pandemic and now feel more confident to move forward with their investment plans [as] we can all see that prices have held up extremely well, and have even risen in some locations.” 

Walsh has also been seeing firsthand evidence of a trend outlined in the 2020 PIPA Annual Investor Sentiment Survey: a significant portion of investors  – 41%, to be exact – intend to buy in a different state to the one they live in within the next 12 months. 

For the fifth year in a row, Brisbane came in as the number one pick for investors in the survey, with 36% believing the city offers the best investment prospects over the next year.

Walsh sees the current market conditions in Brisbane to be the strongest they’ve been since he started buying in the city five years ago.

However, according to SQM Research, the number of property listings in Brisbane over September was the lowest reading for that month evidenced in the last five years.

“Stock is really becoming a major issue in many parts of Brisbane,” Walsh said.

“In some locations, such as the Redlands and parts of Moreton Bay, you have to use all of your networks and professional know-how to secure a property for your client because there is such a low supply of listings.”

Yet those who are successful will be rewarded handsomely, as Walsh reported investors in some parts of Brisbane have experienced price uplifts of up to 10% in less than 12 months, with more growth on the horizon given interstate migration is likely to escalate over the short- to medium-term.

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