Property buyers in Western Australia are the most upbeat as the state economy bounces back from the downturn, according to a new study.

The latest Bankwest/Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) Home Finance Index showed that half of all WA respondents believe now is a good time to buy, compared to 43.7% of respondents nationwide.

About three in four (74.8%) upgraders or next time buyers said they believe now is a good time to purchase investment property - a sharp rise from the record low 14.5% seen during the height of the credit crisis.

In contrast, prospective first-time buyers are more cautious about the market, with only 43.7% believing now is a good time to buy, compared to 49.7% in the last survey.

"We've witnessed a steady shift in confidence in the property market in WA since the last survey in November 2009," said Bankwest managing director Jon Sutton. "Drivers of this improvement include the rebound in resources, a significant increase in job security, while general economic confidence is also higher.

 "Historically, the property market has proved a good barometer of homeowners' confidence in the economy," he added. "During the early stages of the GFC, house prices slipped, then the market recovered as first-time buyers flooded the market. Now the baton has been passed to upgraders who see it as a good time to buy because of a strong economy and confidence in their job prospects."

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