74% of Aussies say now is a good time to buy: RP Data

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Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Australians feel now is a good time to buy property, according to RP Data’s Nine Rewards Survey of housing market sentiment.

While the results show the vast majority of those surveyed think the timing to purchase a home is good, there was a reduction from the survey’s May 2013 results, where 80% of respondents thought it was a good time to purchase a home. The final figure is also slightly lower than a year ago, when 76% of respondents thought it was a good time.

Results varied dramatically from state to state, however, with not a single respondent in the Northern Territory believing now is a good time to buy.

Similarly, the survey shows a smaller proportion of Sydney respondents (63%) think now is a good time to be purchasing a dwelling - the May results were 10% higher for Sydney, at 73%.

RP Data’s Tim Lawless says dwelling values have moved 12.2% higher across the Sydney housing market since bottoming out in May, 2012 and that many prospective Sydney buyers have either been priced out of the market or would be viewing the current level of capital gains as unsustainable.

More than 80% of survey respondents thought it was a good time to be buying a home in Adelaide, Regional Western Australia, Regional Queensland and Brisbane.

Furthermore, 60% of survey respondents believe the Australian housing market may be vulnerable to a significant correction in values. While the survey didn’t probe further into what level of value decline would be considered ‘significant’, Lawless says it’s clear that there is a level of unease about the future of Australian dwelling values.

Respondents based in the Australian Capital Territory, Perth and Sydney showed the most significant level of pessimism when it came to their belief that dwelling values are vulnerable to a significant correction.  Conversely, respondents in Tasmania, where the housing market has been the weakest of any state or territory, are much less pessimistic. Only 36% of respondents thought the housing market was vulnerable to a significant correction in dwelling values. The proportion of pessimistic responses was below 60% for respondents based in the Northern Territory, regional NSW, Adelaide, Brisbane and regional Victoria.

Finally, just over half (51%) of respondents expect home values to rise over the next six months, compared with just 33% of respondents in October last year. Only 6% of respondents were expecting values to fall over the same time period.

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