Consumers turn to the internet before an agent when it comes to seeking real estate advice, although family and friends remain the most sought after for guidance on property matters, a new survey has found.
The annual Appetite to Buy survey, which was commissioned by realestateview.com.au and run in late February 2012, found 52.1 per cent of the 1,475 respondents sought property advice from family and friends, followed by the internet (49.3 per cent) and real estate agents (46.4 per cent).
More than half (51.2 per cent) of respondents believed property prices would remain flat this year, although almost a third – or 33.8 per cent - thought prices would actually rise.
realestateVIEW said the survey also revealed a rise in people looking to buy in the $1 million+ bracket, which has more than tripled in 2012 (four per cent) compared to 2011 (1.2 per cent), suggesting buyers are keen to capitalise on cooling prices at the top end of the market.
Buyers looking to purchase in the middle range of the market ($400K-$600K) remain consistent at 34 per cent (compared with 31 per cent in 2011 and 32.5 per cent in 2010), indicating competition will stay strong in this market segment, the company said.
The top motivation for buying at the moment was being set up financially for the future (53.4 per cent), followed by for investment purposes (33.5 per cent).
Just under a third of respondents (30 per cent) said that, in order to buy their “perfect” home, they would have to increase their budget. Of these respondents, 23.2 per cent believed they would have to increase their budget by more than $50,000.
Respondents said they would consider looking outside their preferred area in order to purchase their dream home (35.2 per cent); would look for something smaller (34.6 per cent); or would accept something that was of “lower quality” (34.2 per cent).
RealestateVIEW said another key trend emerging from current market conditions is the preference among Australians to favour buying through private sale over auction. When asked which method buyers preferred in the current market, 77.8 per cent of Australians listed private sale, 16.0 per cent preferred to buy before auction and only 6.2 per cent listed buying at auction.