Half of Australians believe property prices will increase over the coming months and 41% believe they will rise in the next six months – but there are massive disparities between states.

This is according to the RP Data Nine Rewards consumer sentiment survey, which questioned 1,030 consumers on their expectations for the Australian housing market over the next six to 12 months.

The survey shows that there has been a substantial upward shift in positive expectations, but RP Data’s Tim Lawless said this was largely because high expectations were concentrated in certain markets.

“We’ve seen distinctive differences from region-to-region where, as an example, 59% of respondents in Perth expected values to rise over the next six months, and 56% of respondents in Sydney expect values to rise over the next half year,” he said.

“In contrast… survey participants in Tasmania delivered a much more sedate reaction with no local respondents expecting values to rise over the next six months.”

The RP Data survey also found that 80% of respondents feel now is a good time buy a property and 37% believe it’s a good time to sell.

Lawless said he expects improving confidence to increase the level of housing transactions. “As consumer confidence in housing market conditions rises, we are likely to see a larger number of dwelling sales. We have already seen buyer numbers rise from their early 2012 lows, and transactions over the past six months are about 4.3% higher than the same time a year ago.”

Commenting on the lack of optimism in Tasmania, Hobart-based mortgage broker Richard Denholm said he’s not surprised, but said things could improve.

“Initially, you might have people that are under a bit of housing stress, as they’ve maintained their houses at the top of the market. But the new stock that’s coming on is priced more realistically and it’s moving. As a result, there’s a bit more demand, [but] will probably take six months to flow through.”