Buyer confidence and house price hopes surge in 2021

author-avatar By on February 03, 2021
Buyer confidence and house price hopes surge in 2021

Confidence among Australians in the property market has reached a record high as house prices are tipped to surge in 2021.

ME Bank's latest Quarterly Property Sentiment Report shows positive sentiment among those in the property market is at record highs, while negative sentiment is at an all-time low, since the bank began its sentiment reports in 2019.

The report, which surveyed more than 1,000 Australian investors, owner-occupiers and first home buyers, found that confidence is being buoyed by expectations for rising property prices, increased levels of market activity, and a combination of record low interest rates and government incentives like HomeBuilder.

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you.

ME Bank's Head of Home Loans and Personal Banking Claudio Mazzarella said the record high levels of positive sentiment among Australians is reflective of the resilience of the housing market, after some economists had predicted house price falls of up to 30% in 2020.

"While there are still many challenges such as unemployment and job insecurity, it's promising to see how sentiment and market activity have rebounded," he said.

"Government incentives such as HomeBuilder and record low interest rates have no doubt been large contributors to driving momentum across the market.

"We fully expect to see property investors back in full force this year. Sentiment within this group is bouncing back, with low interest rates make investing in property a more attractive option."

Positive sentiment among investors and owner-occupiers increased by 15 and 17 percentage points respectively. 

However, sentiment among first home buyers dropped 4 percentage points, despite 74% of FHBs saying that stimulus measures such as first home buyer incentives, stamp duty relief and HomeBuilder have made buying or investing more attractive to them.

High hopes for house prices

When COVID first began to impact Australians last year, fears of a housing crash began to build. Almost 12 months on, momentum in the property market is picking up speed fast, as speculation rises of a 2021 housing boom.

The report found 77% of those in the property market expect house prices to bounce back this year.

Similarly, fewer property owners are worried about COVID impacting the value of their property.

It comes after the last Domain house price report shows house prices hit a record high at the end of 2020 in all but two capital cities.

The national median house price surged by 5.8% in the three months to 31 December 2020, to $852,940.

When asked about property price expectations over the next 12 months, 54% of homeowners and buyers predicted prices will continue to go up.

Only 7% thought prices will fall.

"It's clear from our latest report that most Australians anticipate a strong uptick in residential property prices," Mr Mazzarella said.

"The data also shows a general increase in people's sense of wealth and financial confidence as a result of these price movements.

"The flip side to higher property prices is that it will make it harder for first home buyers to get their foot in the door. It will be important for new entrants in the property market to do their research."

Home loan lending data released yesterday reveals a 9.3% increase in first home buyer loans in December, the highest level since June 2009.

But despite the record increase in lending to first home buyers, an overwhelming 95% said housing affordability remains a big issue in Australia.


Photo by R ARCHITECTURE on Unsplash

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

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Emma Duffy joined Savings.com.au as a Finance Journalist in 2019 after spending a year as the editor of The Real Estate Conversation. She's passionate about empowering people to make smart financial decisions and improve the financial literacy of Australians by translating complex finance topics into understandable, relatable content.

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