Confidence returns to the Australian property market

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The chaotic state of the economy and the topsy-turvy real estate market over the last two years has done little to dissuade us from buying property, with new data showing that 15% of all Australians plan to buy property in 2011.
 
The latest figures from Datamonitor confirm that Australians are as keen as ever to buy bricks and mortar, despite the threat of rising interest rates.
 
“Consumer confidence in the Australian property market has rebounded after the tremulous last year,” says Petter Ingemarsson, Datamonitor’s financial services analyst.
 
According to Datamonitor, 8% of Australians intend to purchase an investment property in the next 12 months.
 
A further 7% plan to purchase their first home – despite record-low affordability due to rising property prices and increasing interest rates.
 
“The strong first-time buyer demand in the survey is largely driven by confidence in property prices,” Ingemarsson says.
 
“Also, the residential property market weathered the storm of the financial crisis without a major price correction, which has contributed to the current strong consumer confidence.”
 
Investors are gearing up to return to the market in droves, with 8% of survey respondents indicating that they intend to purchase an investment property in the next 12 months – almost double the level of interest in 2009, when just 5% of respondents said they had plans to invest. “The prospect of capital gains drives property investor intentions,” Ingemarsson explains, “with rental income a secondary consideration.”
 
Whether you’re thinking of investing or you want to your own home, there’s never been a better time to buy that right now, according to property expert Peter Koulizos.
 
“With the threat of interest rates going up, the property market is just flat-lining,” he says. “It’s a terrible time to sell, but a really great time to buy.”
 
Koulizos warns property buyers “not to expect big things in the short-term”, as price growth over the next few years is expected to be sluggish, particularly if interest rates continue to head north.
 
“But as consumers and businesses rebuild their confidence post-GFC, it will improve,” he adds. “We certainly have the good bones of a property upsurge.”

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