Two thirds of economists say buy property: Finder

Staff reporterOctober 5, 20200 min read

Around 65% of economists who weighed in on this question (17/26) say now is a good time to buy property, with recent ABS data revealing a surge in owner-occupier purchases worth $1.2 billion between June and July 2020. 

Almost all respondents (86%, 24/28) agree that the housing market is showing more resilience than expected, despite a rising unemployment rate, JobSeeker cuts and the Victorian lockdown.

Rebecca Cassells of Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre said that government stimulus measures during the pandemic have largely propped up the property market.  

“The current resilience of the housing market is related to the stimulus that both federal and state governments are directing to the sector and not necessarily driven by current economic conditions,” Cassells said.

When asked about the areas where house prices are most likely to retain their value, those who weighed in cited the coastal surrounds of Sydney (50%, 9/18), followed by Greater Melbourne (41%, 7/17).

Where do you think house prices are the most likely to retain their value? 

When it comes to the rental market, experts predict prices to decrease in both Sydney and Melbourne by 5% and 8% respectively, yet minor price hikes are forecast for Canberra and Darwin (+2%), as well as Hobart (+1%). 

Economic Sentiment Tracker 

Experts are feeling optimistic about Australia's GDP, with two-thirds (66%, 19) expecting GDP growth before the end of 2020.

Yet over three-quarters (77%, 23) believe Australia has not seen the worst of the unemployment rate, and expect it to rise before 2020 ends. Only three respondents (10%) think that it will go down from here.

Finder's Economic Sentiment Tracker gauges experts' confidence in five key indicators: housing affordability, employment, wage growth, cost of living and household debt.

Cooke said that sentiment toward housing affordability is tipping down after a record high last month, signalling that property prices may not be set to plummet as hard as previously predicted. 

“In terms of economic sentiment, there has been a curious rise in positivity around employment this month. 

“With government benefits on the chopping block, it seems economists are increasingly confident that the slowly awakening economy will cushion the blow,” he said. 

Staff reporter

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