Consumers’ sentiment toward buying a property now has declined by 18%, with only two-in-three saying it is a good time to buy it now, according to Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker (CST).
By comparison, as of May 2021, the index was sitting at 49% – only a few points higher than the pessimistic low of 42% in April 2020 while in December 2020, a record-high number of people (67%) said it was a good time to buy, however this figure has since dropped by 18 points.
Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said that as lockdowns rolled out across Australia and open house inspections declined, Finder’s Property Positivity Index nosedived to recover again as the housing market sprang back to life.
Additionally, it was helped by the rock-bottom cash rate and ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) which turbo-charged prices but fears of a property bubble were making many Aussies pessimistic that now is the time to buy.
However, despite fewer people thinking now is a good time to buy, approximately 74% felt that property prices in their area would continue to rise over the next 12 months – up from a low of 24% in April 2020, according to the survey.
At the same time, Finder’s RBA panellists were divided whether prospective first-time buyers with a deposit saved may miss an affordability window if they did not purchase within the next year, with nine experts having said they would miss out (64%), while the remaining seven (36%) said they wouldn’t.
Dale Gillham, stockmarket analyst from Wealth Within said buyers would not be missing a window.
“This situation has been talked about since Adam was a boy and it will continue to be into the future. I have never seen a time when we thought property was cheap for anyone let alone first-time buyers,” he said.