The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) and the Property Investors Council of Australia (PICA) commissioned the survey of nearly 2,000 property investors, which found investor sentiment was down only 10 percentage points from the same survey conducted in September last year.

Eighty per cent of respondents said the COVID-19 crisis had not changed their investment intentions for the next six or 12 months.

Positive sentiment is despite residential construction values falling to a near-five year low in the March 2020 quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

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Investors Switzer Financial Group research also revealed more than half of Australians expect property prices to fall in the next 12 months.

Other research by banks and economists predict a grim short-term future for property as well: 

Analysis by Domain also found there had been no material signs yet of distressed sales.

The PIPA-PICA survey collated responses from 13 to 24 May, with 35% of responses from NSW, 30% from Victoria and 20% from Queensland.

Forty-five per cent of respondents had an average household income of $100,000 to $200,000 annually.

"Business as usual" for property investors

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos said the survey showed investors were "overwhelmingly" optimistic about the property market in the next year.

"Eighteen per cent [are] saying the crisis had actually made it more likely they would purchase a property over that timeframe,” he said.

“The survey results also showed about 30% of investors were more likely to buy a property in the next six to 12 months because of the pandemic."

PICA chairman Ben Kingsley said only a small percentage of respondents (5%) indicated the crisis had made it more likely that they would sell a property over the next six to 12 months.

Nearly two-thirds also said coronavirus poses no change at all to their plans.

“Most investors also indicated that they had the financial buffers to see them through the current economic uncertainty," Mr Kingsley said.

“The survey results definitively show optimism amongst investors as well as a business as usual attitude.”

The survey was conducted at the same time various property groups lobbied the Australian Government to protect the construction industry.

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