Speaking at a media briefing in Sydney yesterday, Genworth chief executive officer Ellie Comerford said the dip in confidence was the second consecutive fall since the launch of the index last year.
“This fall, despite Australia’s relatively strong economic performance, was driven by the decreased confidence in the natural disaster affected regions of Queensland and Western Australia coupled with growing concern amongst Australian home buyers about the rising cost of living,” Ms Comerford said.
Queensland home buyers suffered the biggest drop in confidence, with one in three of the state’s respondents stating that they were impacted by the natural flood disaster in some way.
Of those affected by the disaster, one in five said it would take them more than six months to get back on their feet.
But despite the overall drop in confidence, it seems as though 2011 is a good time to buy property, RFi director Alan Shields said.
“The proportion of people saying now is the time to buy has increased from 25 per cent in 2010 to 38 per cent,” he said.
And borrower outlook is pretty good too. 46 per cent of respondents to the survey feel positive about the property market.
“What we found is that if you take Queensland homebuyers out of the equation, overall confidence actually increased by 0.8 per cent," he said.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in Queensland at the moment due to a combination of things like natural disasters and house price falls, which is having an overall negative impact on the national confidence index.”