Aussies see now as the best time to buy an investment property


Despite the financial fallout of the pandemic this year, a good chunk of Australians still believe the time is nigh to invest in property 

New research by ING surveying over 2,000 Australians found there is still some positive feeling about the property market.

According to the research, over a quarter (26%) of Australians believe now is the best time to enter the investment property market and 44% still see property as a strong investment option.

This number is higher among millennials (50%), with low-interest rates (32%) and the prospect of lower house prices (27%) among the key reasons for the desire to buy an investment property.

With many Aussies saving more (37%) and spending less (40%) during the pandemic months, ING Head of Home loans Julie-Anne Bosich said Aussies are cautiously thinking about ways to invest to take greater control of their financial future.

"While, understandably, not everyone is in a position to use their finances to invest, our research has found that for those who are, the preferred investment choice is property, especially in the current climate where interest rates are at a record low," Ms. Bosich said.

House prices on a fifth straight month of decline

This keenness to buy an investment property coincides with yet another month of house price declines in September.

CoreLogic found that despite prices improving marginally in most capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne, which account for 40% of the housing stock and 55% by value, dragged the national median house price down for the fifth straight month.

CoreLogic Head of Asia Pacific Research Tim Lawless, said Melbourne remains the main drag on the headline results.

"By far the weakest result across the capital cities, Melbourne housing values were down 0.9% in September," Mr Lawless said.

"Since peaking in March, Melbourne values are down 5.5%. With restrictions starting to lift and private home inspections once again permitted, we expect to see activity lift in October.”

As restrictions in Melbourne are now starting to ease, listings there have skyrocketed.

After Premier Daniel Andrews' announcement on September 28 that private real estate inspections would be allowed, CoreLogic also found the number of new property listings added to the market for sale increased by 330% in the four weeks ending 18th October.

"After months of restrictions, pent-up demand from sellers has accumulated so much, that more stock was recently added for sale in Melbourne than any other capital city region," CoreLogic head of Australian Research Eliza Owen said.

ING's research found Melbourne is in fact the most sought after destination for these would-be buyers.

28% of investors are planning to buy in Melbourne, followed by Sydney (24%), Brisbane (17%), and the rest of New South Wales (16%).

Of NSW residents,42% are also considering buying outside of Sydney.

Investing on the rise

The number of investor loans issued nationwide fell to its lowest level since 2002 in May, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The latest data from the ABS for August 2020 shows a 9.3% monthly gain, indicating investors may be returning to the market, although investment levels are still 4.6% down year-on-year.

Low-interest rates are a factor for 32% of the would-be investors surveyed by ING and with the cash rate set to be cut again by the Reserve Bank next month, interest rates on both investment and owner-occupier home loans look set to fall further.


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Jason Gwerder
Saturday, 31 October 2020

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