Australian investors are increasingly optimistic that an upswing in property values will occur again in 2010, according to a recent survey by an international real estate company.

In the inaugural Colliers International's Investor Sentiment Survey, some 64% said a recovery will be well underway in 2010. Using a clock as an analogy to the property cycle, Colliers asked investors where they thought the property market was at currently. Running clock-wise, the "trough" was at 6:00, "upswing" at 9:00, "peak" at 12:00, and "downswing" at 3:00.

Some 72% of investors said they believed Australia was somewhere between 4:00 and 6:00, with the majority selecting 5:00.

Another finding was that 42% of investors estimated that residential properties were down an average of 10% since 2007, and 29% put it closer to 20%. Only 2% felt residential values had increased since that point.

Some 63% of respondents said they were looking to buy a property in Australia within 12 months.

Colliers plans to conduct a follow-up survey next quarter to track how sentiment changes, and to assess how far its Property Clock needle has moved.