17 Feb 2021

Aussie investors and homebuyers undeterred by COVID-19, national survey finds

It seems the vast majority of Australian homebuyers and investors were undeterred by the events of 2020 and forged ahead with their property investment plans despite COVID-19, according to the 2021 REBAA & PTA Buyer Barometer Survey.

The inaugural survey, which gathered insights from 745 homebuyers and investors nationally, found that only a small minority put off buying a property because of the pandemic.

“2020 was a tumultuous year for the Australian property market in the midst of a global pandemic, record low interest rates, massive government incentives and softer lending conditions,” REBAA president Cate Bakos said.

“Despite the uncertainty our survey found that only 15% of buyers put their search on hold in response to COVID-19, proving that the pursuit of the ‘great Australian dream’ can withstand the sharpest of downturns.”

The survey found of those looking to invest in 2021, 49% are interested in purchasing a house.

Ms Bakos said houses would find favour with both homebuyers and investors alike this year which would help fuel house price growth.

“In the midst of a difficult year, combined with an overall stock shortage it’s evident that buyer frustration is high,” she said.

“We have seen surprising house price growth despite COVID-19 and we expect this to continue throughout this year as pent-up demand plays out.

“On the flipside only 7% of buyers indicated a preference for units and 4% for apartments, which would infer that these dwelling types could struggle.”

Ms Bakos said the results also indicated that investors would be a dominant force in 2021 with 43% of those looking to invest this year buying a subsequent investment.

“Property investors are seeing the potential of manufacturing capital growth in the current market with almost a quarter of respondents looking for a property with renovation potential,” she said.

Borderless investing remains popular with 23% of buyers considering an interstate purchase in 2021.

Ms Bakos said interstate investment had become more popular as buyers became more educated about buyer’s agents.

“This year’s report highlighted the increasing role buyer’s agents are playing in the real estate transaction with almost a third of those surveyed willing to use a buyer’s agent in their next property search,” she said.

PTA spokesperson Chris Dimitropoulos said he was reassured that the outlook for residential property investment in 2021 was optimistic.

“The key takeaway for us real estate enthusiasts is that Australia’s love affair with property remains steadfast in the face of a pandemic and the worst economic conditions in decades,” he said.