Australians' intentions of buying a home hit a record level in December, a good signal for property investors who are planning to sell, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank study.

The Commonwealth Bank Household Spending Intentions (HSI) series found that home-buying spending intentions are running at a record rate, indicating early signs of positive wealth effect.

"The home-buying intentions series lifted again and is now at a record high. There are some early signs of a 'wealth effect' from the housing market supporting spending on motor vehicles, albeit from a very low level, as well as travel and entertainment," said CBA chief economist Michael Blythe.

Based on the study’s projections, the increasing interest to buy a home could potentially extend the pickup in dwelling prices during the second half of 2019 to the first six months of this year.

"Past cycles show that leading indicators like building approvals turn about three months after home-buying intentions start to lift. A bottoming in the construction cycle would remove a major growth drag on the economy, and also helps retailing," Blythe said.

This would be beneficial, especially in markets where threats of a supply crunch are emerging. Recent figures show that on an annual basis, Australia's building approvals dropped by 20%. In New South Wales alone, the number of private-sector houses approved has fallen by 3.4%.

Other forms of spending could get a shot in the arm from the positive wealth effect that could result in the improvement in home-buying intentions.

One of the segments that has been fluctuating is retail spending. Blythe said despite several factors that would have otherwise improved spending in the segment, Australians remained cautious.

"The flat trend in the retail HSI remains a disappointing outcome relative to the stimulus applied via interest-rate cuts, tax rebates and the upturn in dwelling prices. The zig-zag pattern for the retail HSI indicates that the 'Black Friday' event brought forward spending from December into November without necessarily boosting spending overall," he said.