Australians are divided over whether now is a good time to buy property or not, according to a new poll.
The Homeloans Ltd Home Buyer Barometer for the second quarter of 2011 found that 48 per cent of people believe the market is right for investment.
The poll, which surveyed 2000 Australians, found that one in three (32 per cent) were too uncertain to provide an opinion while 19 per cent were adamant that now is no time to be buying.
“The volatility of property and equity markets in recent years is leaving home buyers cautious,” said Will Keall, Homeloans Ltd national marketing manager.
“And with the cost of living continuing to rise, it means consumers are taking a wary approach.”
The high cost of living is the top financial concern among Australians, the survey found, with 37 per cent of respondents citing increasing living expenses as their main concern over the next 12 months, which compares with 26 per cent in December 2010.
The survey found that the greatest barriers to ownership were high property prices (49 per cent), saving for a deposit (26 per cent) and fear of not being able to meet repayments (22 per cent).
“Despite these major concerns, with nearly half of those surveyed claiming now is the time to buy, it does suggest that the market is on the way back up,” Keall says.
“While many of these respondents may not necessarily believe that the market has bottomed out, they anticipate prices to increase in the medium term and are seeking to take advantage of the abnormally high quantity of properties for sale in most parts of the country.”
According to the Home Buyer Barometer, of those who are in a position to buy, new/ off-the-plan houses or units or those requiring no renovations are the top preference, at 60 per cent. Only 21 per cent of people say they are prepared to carry out renovations and 19 per cent would prefer to build their own.