A new survey has revealed 67% of investors still believe now is a good time to buy residential property.
However, this was down from 82% in 2019, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) Annual Investor Sentiment Survey 2020.
Queensland was offering the best investments prospects over the next year according to 36% of investors, followed by Victoria (27%) and New South Wales (21%).
More investors are keen to look for regional opportunities, with 22% considering this, up from 15% last year, with coastal locations also on the rise, up to 12% from 8% last year.
Investors seem largely unperturbed by reports house prices could drop by 30% as a result of the pandemic, as 77% said potential falls wouldn’t see them pause investment plans.
PIPA Chair Peter Koulizos said COVID had drastically changed the investment landscape, but investor sentiment had held largely firm.
“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 stoic in the face of the unprecedented uncertainty that we are all experiencing,” Mr Koulizos 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.
“That said, there is likely to be big changes to not only where people choose to invest, but also to where they may prefer to live in the years ahead.”
The survey found 44% of investors were looking to purchase a property in the next six to 12 months, down from 48% in 2019.
Of those looking to invest in the next six to 12 months, 74% were interested in purchasing an established house, with the remaining distribution including townhouse/villa at 5.7%, unit/apartment at 2.0% and house-and-land package at 3.9%.
About 29% of investors purchased a property over the past 12 months, down from 34% in the 2019 survey
However, there was an increase of new investors, as of all respondents who purchased in the past 12 months, 29% purchased their first investment property in the year, up from 21% last year.
Long-term capital growth was far and away the number one reason for investing (62%), followed by long-term rental income (26%).
Mr Koulizos said only around 8% of investors required a mortgage deferral through COVID, with three-quarters of this number not needing to extend the original term.
A massive 92% of investors took advantage of the early superannuation withdrawal scheme.
“While the financial challenges have been plenty over recent months, property investors have generally been able to manage their cash flows and expenses over the period,” he said.
“About 16% of investors had tenants who applied for a rent reduction or holiday during the pandemic with about 47% of requests proving to be eligible under the relevant state-based legislation.”
Alex Brewster, Savings.com.au, 16 September 2020