Real estate still most popular Aussie investment: Westpac

by AB29 Jan 2013

More than two thirds of Australians (67%) believe the country has a strong economic outlook, according to Westpac’s Australia Day report.

Of those who claimed the outlook was strong, two thirds (66%) believed this positive trend will continue.

For half of all respondents, the resources industry and growth of Asian markets are seen as the greatest strengths of the Australian economy (53% and 50% respectively).

This positive sentiment also extends to the personal finances of respondents, with two in three (67%) optimistic about their personal situation for the next financial year, and a further 19% feeling very positive about what's to come.

Gai McGrath, general manager, Westpac retail banking, says the positive economic sentiment is encouraging - and not completely unexpected.

“Australians are known for their positive attitude and feel they can handle anything thrown their way, however, they also understand there is more they could be doing to make their money work harder for them. It is clear that economic problems in overseas markets are contributing to the more cautious behaviour that we are seeing from our customers. Both businesses and households continue to pay down their debts and increase their savings, which is a good thing.”  

McGrath says more than a third (37%) of respondents cited 'saving more' as their priority for 2013, followed by making and sticking to a budget (28%).

Looking at the nation's economy, report reveals that Australians have been paying attention to the way European and US markets are behaving, with the single biggest challenge to our economy perceived to be uncertainty in global markets (31%), followed by the slowdown of the mining boom (20%).

In terms of investment, real estate is still considered the best 'value for money' asset (30%), followed by Australian shares, term deposits and managed funds (26%, 14% and 7% respectively).