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5 Property market predictions for 2021 - featured image
By Michael Yardney

5 Property market predictions for 2021

It seems that everybody has been making predictions for our housing markets for 2021 and they’re all extremely positive.

ForecastWhile on the one hand I love to hear this, on the other hand I’m always concerned when everybody thinks the market is going to perform in a particular way as we've seen how wrong consensus opinion has been over the last few years.

Having said that, I agree that we’re at the beginning of a new property cycle and all the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place to have a number of great years ahead for many sectors of our property markets.

So let’s have a look at 5 property trends that I think will occur in 2021.

1. Property demand from home buyers is going to continue to be strong

One of the leading indicators I watch carefully is finance housing approvals, and these are at record levels suggesting that we will have strong demand from owner occupiers and investors in the first half of this year.

Despite the “recession we made ourselves have”, rising unemployment and many small businesses facing challenges, interest in buying residential property has skyrocketed.

This has come particularly from owner occupiers who have amassed household savings at levels not seen since the mid 1970s, and this is in part because they have not been able to spend their money on vacations or even local entertainment as they normally would.

Now, with borrowing costs lower than they ever have been, the reassurance that interest rates won’t rise for at least 3 years and increasing confidence that we’ve got this virus thing under control, it is likely that buyer demand will remain strong throughout the year.

In fact, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy…

As property values increase and the media reports more positively about our property markets, FOMO (fear of missing out) will once again kick in and more buyers will be keen to get in the market before it prices them out.

2. Investors will squeeze out first home buyers

While currently there are many first-time buyers (FHB’s) in the market, buoyed by the many incentives being offered to them, I can see demand from first homebuyers fading as property values rise from increasing competition as investors re-enter the market.

First Home Loan DepositYou see…typically investors compete for similar properties to FHB’s.

Of course over the last few years, investor lending has been low, but with historically low interest rates and the prospect of easing lending restrictions, it is likely that investors will re-enter the market with a vengeance.

At the same time the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme will disappear in March.

3. Property Prices will continue to rise

While many factors affect property values, the main drivers of property price growth are consumer confidence, low interest rates, economic growth and a favourable supply and demand ratio.

trends rise house growth property marketAs always, there are multiple real estate markets around Australia, but in general property values should increase strongly throughout 2021.

However certain segments of the market will still continue to suffer, in particular in the city apartment towers and accommodation around universities.

It is unlikely the segments of the market will pick up for some time and the value of these apartments is likely to continue to fall as there just won’t be buyers for secondary properties.

At the same time some rental market will remain challenged. In particular the inner-city apartment markets which are reliant on students, tourists (AirBNB) and overseas arrivals.

4. People will pay a premium to be in the right neighbourhood

If Coronavirus taught us anything, it was the importance of living in the right type of property in the right neighbourhood.

Australia SuburbsIn our new “Covid Normal” world, people will pay a premium for the ability to work, live and play within a 20-minute drive, bike ride or walk from home.

They will look for things such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs all within 20 minutes’ reach.

Residents of these neighbourhoods have now come to appreciate the ability to be out and about on the street socialising, supporting local businesses, being involved with local schools, enjoying local parks.

5. We will not fall off the fiscal cliff in March

Some commentators are still concerned that we will fall off the fiscal cliff when JobKeeper and the mortgage deferral system end in March.

I can’t see the government allowing this to happen after having put so much time effort and money into “building a bridge to get us across the other side” as Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised.

Interest Rates SteadyAt worst, the fiscal cliff will be a little step down to the new normal.

In fact APRA (the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) released data showing there has been a significant fall in deferred loan repayments, yet another sign of economic recovery which boosts the ability of banks to extend lending.
Last year many borrowers put their loan repayments in deep freeze because of the uncertainty fuelled by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
It seems that many borrowers took out the safety net of loan deferrals but didn't actually require them, and most have now started repaying their loans.
This means banks do not have to allow for as many potential bad dates on their books and the unofficial word is they are open for business and very keen to lend money again.
Remember bank are just "money shops", they can't make a profit and pay their shareholders dividends unless they lend money to customers.
And while our banks were very cautious last year, not willing to take on new loan commitments in the uncertain economic climate, their appetite for new business has definitely changed.
Last Friday treasurer Josh Frydenberg said:

"As more households and ­businesses resume loan repayments, banks are in an even stronger position to continue lending ... helping those wanting to buy a home, invest or grow their business."

The bottom line

As I mentioned in the beginning,  all the pieces of the property puzzle are falling into place for strong housing markets for the next couple of years.

Australia’s economy is recovering faster than most expected, unemployment is falling, jobs are being created, consumer and business confidence is rising and there are more buyers out there than there are good properties for sale.

2021 is going to be a great year for our housing markets.

NOW READ: Latest property price forecasts revealed. What’s ahead in the next year or two?

Now is the time to take action and set yourself up for the opportunities that will present themselves in property this year.

Metropole Team

If you're wondering how to take advantage of the new property cycle you can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance and results.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.

In “interesting” times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that's what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.

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About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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