Consumers increasingly unconvinced to buy property: Finder Survey

Finder’s Property Positivity Index shows that the proportion of Australians who think now is a “good time to buy” is at its lowest ebb since lockdowns started last year.

Consumers increasingly unconvinced to buy property: Finder Survey
Consumers increasingly unconvinced to buy property: Finder Survey

As national house prices continue to climb, consumers are not convinced that now is a good time to buy property, according to new research by Finder, Australia’s most visited comparison site.  

Finder’s Property Positivity Index shows that the proportion of Australians who think now is a “good time to buy” is at its lowest ebb since lockdowns started last year.

As of May 2021, the index is sitting at 49% – only a few points higher than the pessimistic low of 42% in April 2020. 

In December 2020, a record-high number of people (67%) said it was a good time to buy, however this figure has since dropped by 18 points. 

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said that Australians’ property optimism has yoyoed throughout the past 12 months. 

“As lockdowns rolled out across Australia and open house inspections declined, Finder’s Property Positivity Index nosedived only to recover again as the housing market sprang back to life. 

“Both the rock-bottom cash rate and FOMO have turbo-charged prices but fears of a property bubble are making many Aussies pessimistic that now is the time to buy,” he said. 

Property positivity toward prices spikes

Despite fewer people thinking now is a good time to buy, approximately 74% feel that property prices in their area will continue to rise over the next 12 months – up from a low of 24% in April 2020. 

When asked about whether prospective first-time buyers with a deposit saved may miss an affordability window if they do not purchase within the next year, Finder’s RBA panelists were divided. 

In total, 9 experts said they would miss out (64%), while the remaining 7 (36%) said they wouldn’t.

Dale Gillham, stock market analyst from Wealth Within said buyers would not be missing a window.

“This situation has been talked about since Adam was a boy and it will continue to be into the future. I have never seen a time when we thought property was cheap for anyone let alone first-time buyers,” he said. 

Rebecca Cassells of Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre said buyers may miss a window if they don’t buy.

“Increased house prices driven by significant stimulus and low interest rate environment has the potential to lock out future first home buyers by making it even harder to come up with the deposit needed to enter the market.”

Cooke said that window of opportunity or not, there’s been a significant turnaround in property price expectations over the past year. 

“The last 6 months resulted in the largest amount borrowed to buy housing in any 6-month period in Australian history. The property market really is surging back into life,” Cooke said. 

Jordan Fidler

Jordan Fidler

Jordan is a journalist at Urban.com.au

Tags: 
Housing Sentiment Negative Sentiment Buying

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