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Real estate rush: 3.8 million Australians plan to buy property over the next year


House hunting has hit a fever pitch in Australia amid record-low interest rates and a remote working revolution, according to new research by Finder.

A new nationally representative Finder survey of 1,004 respondents revealed that a staggering 1 in 5 (20%) are looking to purchase a property within the next 12 months.

That's equivalent to 3.8 million people hunting for real estate or planning to do so in the near future.

CoreLogic data shows that regional property values are continuously outperforming those in capital cities, as an increasing number of city slickers seek out a "tree change" while working from home.

Regional dwelling values have increased by 1.7% since March 2020, while prices across capital cities have fallen by 2.3% on average during the same period.

Over the past year, dwelling values have risen by 3.9% in regional Victoria, compared to just 0.7% in Melbourne. Regional Queensland values have also increased by 5.1% during the same time, compared to just 3.5% in Brisbane.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said that the results indicate that a post-pandemic housing boom is on the horizon.

"There's a good chance that we will see a deluge of people searching for properties, from those trying to get their foot in the market, to seasoned upgraders.

"Yet potential buyers could experience a shortage of listings and a spike in house values as demand outstrips supply.

"With increased activity in the market, buyers might need to broaden their search and seek pre-approval beforehand to one-up the competition," Browne said.

Finder's research found that more males (23%) than females (17%) have their sights set on buying property over the coming year.

Around a third of millennials (32%) are hoping to enter the property market, followed by a quarter (24%) of gen Z.

By state, Victorians and Western Australians are the most eager, with 22% seeking a house or unit to buy within the next 12 months.

Browne said that record low interest rates and COVID-19 had given Aussies itchy feet.

"COVID-19 has triggered multiple lifestyle changes, from the way we shop to where we want to live.

"This has coincided with a period of historically low interest rates, giving borrowers confidence they can afford a home loan.

"Although borrowing conditions are favourable, Aussies need to ensure both their financial situation and job status are secure before taking the plunge," Browne said.

Proportion of Aussies looking to purchase a property over the next year

Generation Z24%
(1995 or after)
Generation Y32%
Generation X20%
Baby boomers5%
(1959 or prior)

Source: Finder survey of 1,004 respondents, November 2020

Advantages of seeking home loan pre-approval:

  • You'll know your borrowing power. Obtaining pre-approval means you'll have a clear indication of how much money you can borrow. This can help you stick to a realistic budget when viewing properties.
  • You can shop with confidence. Knowing how much money your mortgage provider has agreed to lend to you provides peace of mind with making an offer or bidding at auction.
  • It shows that you are serious. Obtaining pre-approval shows real estate agents that you are serious. This can help you to stand out from other potential buyers in a competitive market.

Need home loan help? Quickly compare some of the market's lowest rates.

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