A number of recent indicators are pointing to improved consumer sentiment and increased confidence in the property market.
According to Charles Tarbey, chairman and owner of CENTURY 21 Australasia, improving market conditions may indicate the Australian property market is moving into a new growth phase.
“Capital city dwelling values recorded growth in both January and February and, when this is combined with strong auction clearance rates, low interest rates and improving consumer sentiment, it is probable that the market is entering a new phase,” Mr Tarbey said.
“While it is still too early to call a complete recovery, leading indicators look very positive for this year.”
A recent survey by RP Data and Nine Rewards gauged housing market sentiment with some positive results.
Director of RP Data Tim Lawless was pleasantly surprised by the results.
“The results were stronger than I expected, in the sense that only a very small proportion of the survey respondents expected dwelling values to fall over the next six to twelve months," he said.
“The results showed that 38 per cent of the survey respondents expected home values to rise over the coming six months, slightly higher than the 33 per cent who thought values would rise back in October last year.
“Also, just over half the respondents expected dwelling values to rise over the next twelve months, a decent jump from 42 per cent in October last year.”
The results reinforce the Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment survey, which surged to its highest level since December 2010 last month.
“Consumers are becoming more confident and more willing to make high commitment decisions,” Mr Lawless said.
Mr Tarbey pointed towards low interest rates and the upwards trend of transaction volumes, suggesting that people are growing increasingly comfortable with buying or selling property.
“Consumer sentiment is a key to fuelling a sustained growth period. With this in mind, it may pay to monitor the health of the Australian economy very closely this year,” concluded Mr Tarbey.