Are you planning to buy an investment property in 2021?
Or maybe you’re hoping to buy a new home?
Well, you’ll be in good company because 55.2% of the respondents of a recent survey believe now is a good time to invest in residential real estate.
This is significantly fewer than the 74% keen to invest last year, with 17.4.4% of this year’s respondents saying they were going to pause their investment plans until the economic situation became clearer.
And this is a little surprising as only 12.4% said their household finances had worsened because of the pandemic.
In other words, most Australian households have noticed no real change or an improvement to their family finances.
However, 24.7% of respondents plan to buy a new home in 2022 (up a little from 24% last year and 20% the year before).
This is no surprise Covid has made us realise that our homes are more than just a place to live, but now they’re where we often work, work out, and spend most of our days.
Clearly, these buyers are taking a long-term view as the respondents of our annual Property Investor Sentiment Survey have realistic expectations of what's likely to happen to property values next year.
- 30.4% of the respondents believing Australian property values would only increase by 5 to 10% in 2022
- 23.6% forecast a smaller increase in property values of 0-5% in 2022
- 16.4% believe values will remain steady next year
- 14.1% believe property values will increase more than 10% next year
- 4.5%% think property values will decrease 0-5% next year
- 2.7% see a bigger fall coming - thinking property values could decline 5-10%
- While 2.8% see declines of over 10% in property values ahead
What’s all this about?
Recently Property Update and Yahoo Finance polled their readers and over 1,700 property investors and would-be investors gave their input to the 2021 Property Investor Sentiment Survey, the largest and longest-running survey of its type in Australia.
Running since 2011, it offers rich and vibrant insights into how property consumer trends and sentiments have changed over time.
You can download the full survey findings by clicking here, but for the moment let’s look at some of the highlights.
Who took part in the survey?
A wide range of Australians – 1,706 ordinary mums and dads responded.
The fact that they already subscribed to Property Update or Yahoo Finance meant they were a captive audience of people already interested in the property.
When asked for their combined family income 4% earned less than $50,000 while 34% earned more than $200,000 but the bulk earned a combined family income between $100,000 and $200,000.
83% owned at least one investment property, but a wide spectrum of investors partook in the survey:
- 16.9% owned no investments
- 22% owned one investment property
- 18.8% owned two investment properties
- 13.2% owned three investment properties, and it went all the way up to
- 4.8% owning 10 or more properties
Are you a rentvestor?
17.4% of respondents were rentvestors – they rented their home but owned an investment property, and 4.2% of the respondents would consider rentvesting as a way of getting into the property market.
Are you considering moving to live in a different location because of Covid19?
While 82.6% of the respondents were not considering moving to a different location, 6.2% considered moving to Queensland, while 5% thought regional Australia would offer a better lifestyle.
More Australians are planning to move home in the next year
Almost a quarter of respondents (24.7%) plan to buy a new home in 2022.
This is up from previous surveys where this figure has been 20% for the last 4 years.
Is this a good time to invest in property?
Respondents to this year’s survey were less confident that now is a good time to invest in property (55.2%) compared to last year when 74% thought it was a good time to invest.
This compares to 68% in 2019, 52% in 2018, and 59% in 2017 thinking the timing was right to invest.
44% of respondents said they were planning to buy an investment property in the next year (down from 50% last year) with almost half the respondents believing Brisbane will have the best capital growth opportunities over the next 5 years.
- Also read:8 ways into the property market with a small deposit
- Also read:10 most expensive suburbs in Melbourne
- Also read:10 most expensive suburbs in Sydney
- Also read:Latest property price forecasts for 2022 revealed. What’s ahead in our housing markets in the next year or two?
- Also read:The Prime Minister is betting the house on new incentives | Property Insiders [Video]
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected property investors?
When asked if the Coronavirus pandemic had changed their attitude or approach to property investing the answers were very similar to last year:
Then we asked - "Has the pandemic impacted your immediate investment plans in the next 12 months?"
While 17.4% (20% last year) are pausing their investment plans until the situation became clearer, the majority of respondents are not going to change their plans and 12.8% (14% last year) are going to take advantage of the current climate to enter the market sooner.
While only 6.8% requested a mortgage repayment holiday from their lenders, 19.5% of the respondents had received a request for a rental reduction or holiday because of COVID-19 from the tenants – down from 24% last year.
When asked how the fallout from the pandemic had changed their work situation, almost a quarter of the respondents found their work situation has become more flexible and 16.5% and now mainly working from home and will continue to do so.
Only 12.4% found their household finances had worsened while 28.1% found their finances had improved.
Some other interesting results:
Investors are optimistic about our property markets
- 68% of respondents see property values rising in the next year.
- Last year only 45% of respondents thought property values would rise in 2021, while the year before 61% of respondents expected property values to rise over the coming year.
Do you think now is a good time to fix interest rates?
- 62.6% of the respondents believe this as a good time to lock in interest rates, suggesting that most felt the next move in interest rates will be up. Last year 47% of the respondents thought it was time to lock in interest rates
- 26.7% of respondents are finding the recent tighter lending criteria impacting their ability to purchase another property.
Interestingly this is considerably lower than the last few years (2020 – 38%; 2019 - 42%; 2018 – 50%; 2017- 48%; 2016 - 46%) suggesting that banks’ lending criteria are easing a little.
- Difficulty with accessing more finance was the biggest concern of these property investors
- What type of property would you buy?
Clearly off the plan properties are out of favour with respondents keen to buy established properties and in particular those with the ability to add value through renovation or development.
Who’s advice do you seek (or plan to seek) for property investment advice?
Interestingly each year about a quarter of respondents say they won’t seek anyone’s advice before making an investment decision and, in my mind, this is a concern because despite the significant amount of research material and information available for free, there’s one thing you can’t get over the internet – and that’s the perspective that only comes after years of on the ground experience.
While our readership at Property Update is reasonably evenly split amongst males and females we found it interesting that of the 1,706 people who responded 72% were male.
Now that’s interesting and you can read whatever you want into that statistic.
Pam, my wife, said that it’s because males have been trained to do what they’re told – but I’m not sure about that.
It’s clear that property investor confidence remains strong and those who can afford to are planning to take advantage of the investment opportunities are housing market is currently offering by buying another investment property or new home if finances allow.
Our survey shows that Australian property investors focus on long-term capital growth, rather than cash flow and many are looking for a property that has the potential to add value, rather than waiting for the market to do the heavy lifting.
While investors will still face a number of hurdles with the economic challenges facing Australia, few have changed their long-term investment plans due to COVID-19.
However, one-quarter of respondents are considering upgrading their home and that’s not surprising considering how Covid has changed our lifestyles.
Click here to read the full survey results.