Sur­vey re­veals year ahead is full of con­fi­dence for buy­ers


“There are nu­mer­ous broad fac­tors that drive a property mar­ket...

PROPERTY is on the shop­ping list for the ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents in the Ma­tusik Out­look 2014 poll de­spite the 3 per cent drop in the Fe­bru­ary in­dex of the West­pacMel­bourne In­sti­tute’s con­sumer con­fi­dence lev­els.

Our an­nual on­line sur­vey of property pro­fes­sion­als, in­vestors and property-watch­ers — let’s just call them “property folk” — has con­firmed over­all pos­i­tive ex­pec­ta­tions for the hous­ing mar­ket through­out the na­tion.

We asked our property folk to iden­tify them­selves ei­ther as buy­ers, sell­ers or sim­ply in­ter­ested pub­lic.

And most — some 60 per cent — see them­selves as buy­ers for 2014.

The ma­jor­ity are also in­vestors.

Property in all of the cap­i­tals was rep­re­sented in this poll; the ma­jor­ity of re­sponses re­lated to Bris­bane (and other Queens­land ar­eas in­clud­ing the Sun­shine and Gold Coasts, South-East Queens­land and Far North Queens­land) — a likely re­flec­tion of our strong fol­low­ing in the Sun­shine State.

Syd­ney and a sur­pris­ingly high num­ber from Perth were next; fol­lowed by Mel­bourne; and smaller num­bers in Can­berra and Ho­bart equally; then Dar­win and Ade­laide.

Al­most 80 per cent of these prop­er­ties are lo­cated in mar­kets that, ac­cord­ing to our re­spon­dents, are cur­rently in re­cov­ery, that is ar­eas that are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ris­ing sales; a re­turn to price growth; im­prov­ing yields; and in­creas­ing home build­ing ac­tiv­ity.

An­other 16 per cent in­di­cated their property mar­ket was in an up­turn phase, that is fast sales; strong price growth; steady yields; over­sup­ply; seller’s mar­ket.

The bal­ance was split be­tween down­turn and bot­tom of the mar­ket lo­ca­tions.

Houses ac­counted for 60 per cent of the prop­er­ties cov­ered in the poll; apart­ments rep­re­sented a quar­ter; town­houses 10 per cent; and land the bal­ance.

So, just how do these property folk see the mar­ket for 2014? All up, I’d say they are a con­ser­va­tively op­ti­mistic bunch.

These property pun­dits, in the main, an­tic­i­pate mod­er­ate to good rent and price growth; and in­creas­ing sales vol­umes through­out 2014.

Al­most 60 per cent are look­ing to see rental growth of up to 5 per cent; one in eight ex­pect be­tween 5 and 10 per cent rent growth. And a third of re­spon­dents an­tic­i­pate no change. Mod­est price in­creases of up to 5 per cent are an­tic­i­pated by just over half of re­spon­dents; with al­most 40 per cent an­tic­i­pat­ing price rises of 5 per cent up to 10 per cent.

Al­most half ex­pect sales vol­umes to in­crease by up to 10 per cent; and a fur­ther onethird an­tic­i­pate sales vol­umes will in­crease by 10-25 per cent, with just one in five ex­pect­ing sales to re­main steady.

In­ter­est rates are ex­pected to re­main on hold by 68 per cent of pun­ters; in­crease by 24 per cent; and de­cline by 8 per cent.

Our sur­vey sought to gauge sen­ti­ment within the property sec­tor; and while the re­sults by no means form a sci­en­tific study; we are en­cour­aged by the mes­sage of con­fi­dence in­di­cated by the property pro­fes­sion­als and own­ers who con­trib­uted to our 2014 Out­look Poll.

There are nu­mer­ous broad fac­tors that drive a property mar­ket- in­clud­ing liq­uid­ity, em­ploy­ment, con­fi­dence, in­vest­ment re­turns, sup­ply and de­mand.

Con­fi­dence plays a big part.

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