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Image: Canva.
  • Various surveys show that Australians are expressing stronger concerns over housing affordability
  • According to Herron Todd White, most of Australia is in a 'Rising Market' despite affordability and interest rate rsies
  • The upcoming federal election could throw a curve ball into housing policy

This is the second part of a two-part article discussing the ongoing large proportion of Australians who feel priced out of the market…

On the one hand, Australians are still expressing strong concern over housing affordability, and it isn’t limited to this one survey by Essential Media and PCA.

It has been a common thread among many surveys on the subject in recent months.

That response in PCA’s research is therefore not surprising.

On the other hand, what seems to have emerged from the NAB survey, and wider buyer sentiment is a swell of optimism. How strong that upswell of confidence is and whether it has critical mass as to become the norm is another question.

The broader optimism that now exists may likely be down to high vaccination rates, some semblance of normality returning, and what some purported earlier this year as ‘the variant to end the pandemic’ (albeit clearly a bit of media sensationalism).

Indeed other factors too like a strong economy and jobs numbers, perhaps feed well into the narrative of positivity and optimism, particularly in contrast to the past two years.

Does that feed into buyer sentiment as well? Difficult to tell given the recent aberrations in normality.

The market movements

Taking a broader market view of what is going on across Australia, the Herron Todd White’s Month in Review for March 2022, showed most of the country is seen as a ‘Rising Market’.

HTW National Property Clock: Houses

herron-todd-white-month-in-review-national-property-clock
Source: Herron Todd White.

In the Herron Todd White review, Executive Director, Valuation and Advisory Drew Hendrey wrote that the data from the ABS showing a significant increase in investor loans suggested a shift from predominantly owner-occupiers in the market to investors.

“As affordability becomes more and more of an issue across capital cities, an increasing number of people are moving away from buying and into renting,” Mr Hendrey also wrote.

HTW National Property Clock: Units

herron-todd-white-month-in-review-national-units-clock
Source: Herron Todd White.

Mr Hendrey also noted that while migration to Australia may be at historic lows, there is potential for imminent demand to put pressure on the rental sector.

Election issues

Another factor to consider will of course be the election, to be held in May. While both parties have publicly stated there will be no changes to negative gearing, affordability remains at the forefront for many Australians, as evident in the PCA survey previously mentioned.

State and federal governments are also under pressure to provide more affordable housing.

However, this isn’t just a capital city based issue – prices have been rising in regional Australia too. The Federal Labor party has announced the Regional First Home Buyer Loan guarantee scheme, assisting 10,000 people on an annual basis to facilitate the purchase of a first home for regional housing.

The decision has been welcomed by the UDIA, with President Max Shifman stating it “… is a great initiative which will provide genuine support for the regions struggling under the weight of increased demand” but he noted development-ready land needs to keep up.

“These positive ideas need to be supported by measures that boost supply pipelines across the entire housing spectrum, preparing for expected population growth in the regions by clearing away inefficient barriers to dwelling delivery,” he said.

Recap

The situation is varied, or more inelegantly put: the housing market remains a bit of a hodgepodge.

One survey of 1,100 Australians by PCA elicited a response of concern and perhaps despair, whereas another of some 2000 by NAB showed others felt somewhat optimistic.

Housing affordability is also an election issue that is front of mind for voters, according to the PCA survey, and the housing market seems to be recovering, indeed rising – making an already inaccessible market perhaps tougher to break into.

More information is certainly to come in the weeks ahead.

So to buy or not to buy? Please read the disclaimer below.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information and should at no time be considered advice to the reader. The reader should always verify their situation with the relevant certified professionals before taking any further steps. 

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