Australians are less worried now about COVID-19’s effect on property values than they were when the economy first took a turn back in March, a new report has revealed.
The latest quarterly property sentiment report from ME has indicated that positive sentiment has again increased, sitting at 35 per cent for quarter 3.
While it’s an improvement of six points from the 29 per cent positive sentiment posted in quarter 2, it is still well below the high of 39 per cent that was posted at the beginning of 2020.
The report was also able to show that concerns around lower property valuations are easing, down 9 percentage points from the last quarter, to 55 per cent.
According to Andrew Bartolo, ME’s general manager of home loans, sentiment began flexing more positively in June, despite the pandemic continuing to shift consumer sentiment and create volatility within the Australian property market.
While conceding the current situation is one “no one would have expected at the beginning of the year”, the manager is hopeful for a more stable return to optimism.
“Hopefully, this renewed positivity and growing confidence is able to weather possible second waves of COVID-19 cases as we’ve seen in Victoria, which is no doubt increasing worry across the nation,” he commented.
Despite the upswing and renewed confidence, ME has conceded many owners and investors are remaining conservative. When asked about their property plans over the next 12 months, six in 10 (or 61 per cent) Australians are still planning to hold steady – they’ll neither buy or sell.
Just 10 per cent of property owners expressed any intention of selling over the coming year.
It conflicts with the optimism held by first home buyers in Australia, as reported by Smart Property Investment, with more than half of them expecting to jump onto the property ladder within the next 12 months as they seek COVID-19 bargains.