Sentiment towards buying property hits a new low

  • By Zilla Efrat

With housing prices climbing, the number of Australians who believe now is a good time to buy property hit its lowest level on record in October 2021, according to Finder’s Property Positivity Index.

The index continued its downward trend after hitting a peak in December 2020, when 67 per cent of Australians felt it was a good time to buy property.

But in October 2021, only a third (35 per cent) of Australians believed it was the time to buy – down from 40 per cent in September.

Property price growth is seemingly unstoppable, explains Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder.

“Extended lockdowns and border closures have done little to curb price growth this year. And, rock-bottom interest rates and the property boom instilled a fear of missing out among prospective home buyers.”

Data from CoreLogic shows that house prices are showing year-on-year price gains of between 14 per cent and 31 per cent in Australia’s capital cities. The median house in Sydney now costs $1.2 million.

Cooke says a record number of Australians are pessimistic that now is the time to buy as we emerge from lockdowns.

Do the experts concur?

According to chief analyst for Wealth Within Dale Gillham, it’s always a good time to buy property, but certain times are better than others.

“Low-interest rates make the return on investment in borrowing to get into property very attractive right now.”

However, AMP Capital's chief economist Shane Oliver disagrees, noting that now is not the time to buy. “A year ago, when prices were still down was a good time to buy, but since then affordability has deteriorated.”