A new national survey has found that a number of property investors have remained upbeat during COVID-19, however, the pandemic has made many reconsider not only where they buy, but also where they live.
Indeed, the 2020 Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) Annual Investor Sentiment Survey, which gathered insights online from nearly 1,100 property investors during August 2020, found that investors remained optimistic about the months ahead.
“While there is no doubt that 2020 has been one of the toughest in living memory for everyone around the globe, property investors have remained resilient in the face of the unprecedented uncertainty that we are all experiencing,” PIPA Chairman Peter Koulizos said.
“About 67 per cent of investors believe that now is a good time to invest in residential property, according to the survey, which is down from 82 per cent in 2019 and no doubt a direct impact of the pandemic,” he said.
“However, at the current time, the property market has continued to show its resilience with prices materially stable in most parts of the nation.”
The survey found that some 77 per cent of investors say any concerns about potential falling house prices won’t cause them to put their investment plans on hold.
Mr Koulizos said about 44 per cent of investors are looking to purchase a property in the next six to 12 months.
“Plus, about 71 per cent of investors have indicated that the pandemic has made it less likely they will sell a property over the next year, which is another factor that will help to underpin property prices,” he said.
Investors are open to moving other locations post-pandemic
The survey found that more than 40 per cent of investors intend to buy property in a different State or Territory to the one that they live in.
Mr Koulizos detailed that interstate investing had been growing in popularity over recent years as investors become more educated about the strategy.
“Investors are recognising the value of working with property investment professionals to help them secure the best opportunities across the nation,” he said.
While the majority of investors remain keen to push forward with their investment plans over the next year, this year’s survey also found they are considering buying, as well as living, in different locations.
More than 17 per cent of investors indicated that the pandemic had made them consider moving to another location, with regional areas set to benefit the most.
“It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has made many people reconsider their lifestyles with nearly one-fifth of investors indicating they are contemplating a move,” Mr Koulizos said.
“The survey found for those investors considering relocating the main reasons for doing so were improved lifestyle factors (78 per cent), working from home in the future (46 per cent) and housing affordability (40 per cent).”
“And it seems that regional locations are set to benefit from plenty of new residents with investors indicating their top locations to migrate to are regional New South Wales (21 per cent), regional Queensland (18 per cent), Brisbane (16 per cent) and regional Victoria (14 per cent).”
Metro locations fall in popularity with coastal and regional locations on the rise
The survey found that Queensland is definitely in the sights of investors, with 36 per cent of respondents citing that it offers the best investment prospects over the next year, followed by Victoria (27 per cent) and New South Wales (21 per cent).
The number of investors who see Brisbane as the state capital with the best investment prospects has fallen to 36 per cent, down from 44 per cent in 2019. However, Brisbane continues to be seen more positively than Melbourne at 27 per cent, (the same as last year), Sydney at 18 per cent (up from 14 per cent) and Adelaide on 8 per cent (up from 7 per cent).
Perth has increased slightly in appeal (6 per cent vs. 4 per cent last year), while Canberra remains is up 2 per cent from 1 per cent last year. Hobart is the top pick for 2 per cent of investors while Darwin is in favour with only 0.2 per cent.
Investors remain keen on opportunities to invest in metropolitan markets, but the appeal is down from 73 per cent in 2019 to 61 per cent in 2020.
Meanwhile, the proportion of investors that say regional markets are the most appealing has increased to 22 per cent from 15 per cent in 2019, with coastal locations also on the rise – up to nearly 12 per cent from 8 per cent last year.
PIPA member and buyer’s agent Ben Plohl said the survey results were indicative of the already improving market conditions in many regional locations.
“We have been active in parts of regional New South Wales and regional Victoria over recent months because of the favourable market conditions in these locations,” Mr Plohl said.
“The survey results also show that many of these areas will be welcoming plenty of new residents in the months ahead, which will likely further strengthen property markets in some regional locations.”