Property investors have maintained their optimism about the property market this year as three in five believe now is a good time to invest, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).
PIPA's latest poll showed that property investors have been actively participating in the market over the past year, with a third of investors purchasing a property.
Around the same share of investors intend to purchase a property in the next six to 12 months.
Property investors also had positive expectations about property prices this year.
In fact, 76% of them believe their respective states and territories will witness solid gains in property values over the next year.
PIPA chairperson Peter Koulizos said this year's poll results indicate that more property investors are confident in the property market despite the hiccups brought about by the recent lockdowns and restrictions.
"When we think back to last year, which was a time of much fear and uncertainty, it’s clear that property investors and the market in general has weathered that turbulent period better than anyone dared to hope," Mr Koulizos said.
"That said, last year’s survey did forecast the strong property price growth that we have since experienced, it’s just that not many people believed us at the time."
With high market optimism, 76% of investors are expecting prices to increase further in the next 12 months.
Investment veterans lead the way
The majority of investors who are planning to buy over the next year are “veterans”, or those who have purchased several properties in the past.
Close to half of these veterans currently hold two to four properties in their portfolio, while around 20% have five to 10.
A fifth of these investment veterans currently have only one investment property.
While investment veterans lead the pack in terms of activity and outlook, first-time investors still had considerable contribution.
Of all investment property transactions over the past year, 16% were from first timers.
Queensland rising as the top investment spot
While the COVID lockdowns did not dampen investor sentiment, they did change how investors would like to invest.
The study showed that around a quarter of investors would like to set their sights beyond crowded cities.
For 58% of all investors, Queensland has the best investment prospects among all states and territories.
Brisbane also beat its counterparts, with 54% of investors believing it has the rosiest outlook among all capital cities.
A similar study by the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) reinforces this — it found that Queensland regions were among the best performers during the first six months of the year.
Investors eyeing long-term capital gains
Long-term capital gains continue to be the biggest goal for investors, with 60% saying this is the most important aspect of their investments.
Meanwhile, 28% of investors said long-term rental income was their top motivation for investing.
In terms of challenges, a third of investors said access to lending was the top issue.
According to the study, about 22% of investors have found themselves in a position where they were unable to refinance an amount they were able to borrow previously.
Other concerns include a big correction in property prices, economic conditions, and further lockdowns.
To dispel any concerns about the market, 51% of investors sought help from an investment professional.
Mr Koulizos said in the current market, it is advisable for investors to work with qualified investment experts.
"Whether investors are looking for a qualified adviser, mortgage broker or accountant, they should look for a qualified property investment adviser as the best assurance that they are dealing with a trusted and educated professional," he said.