Australians are reporting that they are more optimistic about the outlook for house prices. And a significant number are looking to buy over the coming year.
According to ME Bank’s latest Quarterly Property Sentiment Report, 38 per cent of respondents, surveyed in July, expect house prices to rise over the coming year. When the survey was last conducted, in April, 32 per cent said they expected house prices to rise.
Seventeen per cent expect house prices to fall in the coming year, compared with 28 per cent in the previous survey.
Significantly more people in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were positive about the house price outlook, while respondents in the Northern Territory and Tasmania predicted that prices had bottomed.
Affordability remains a big concern, with 93 per cent agreeing that “despite the price falls in some areas they still think housing affordability is a big issue in Australia” – up from 88 per cent in April.
Concerns about tighter credit policies have eased – down 10 percentage points from the previous survey.
Thirty-one per cent plan to buy property in the next 12 months, down from 34 percent in the previous survey.
The most recent Westpac Consumer Sentiment Report, published earlier this month, also shows a more positive response to housing-related questions. The “time to buy a dwelling” index has risen 19.5 per cent over the past 12 months and the “house price expectations” index has also risen.
This is in contrast to a fall in Westpac’s general consumer sentiment index.