Buoyed by the strengthening economy, a majority of Australian homeowners are now planning to invest in property, a new survey has revealed.

More than two in three (61%) homeowners said they plan to access the equity in their homes to buy an investment property, compared to just 12% of respondents who said they would not tap equity and a quarter (23%) of respondents who said they would use equity to carry out renovations.

"Property investors are now feeling more wealthy and prosperous, because the Global Financial Crisis has passed in Australia and their jobs are secure, so we've got quite a lot of buoyancy in the marketplace," explained Aaron Maskrey, residential research director with PRDnationwide. "With a current nationwide shortage of homes putting upward pressure on prices once again, the idea of accessing equity is becoming more popular."

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total spending on housing financial commitments jumped by 10.1% compared to the previous year.

"Investors have strengthened, with $6.4bn being committed in January - the highest amount of investor commitment since February 2008. Investors now account for 30.4% of the total housing finance commitments," said Maskrey.