A continuing decline in the property market and a downturn in China are the major concerns for Australia’s economy this year, according to a national survey by 1300HomeLoan. 

A survey of the company’s brokers asking them to list their economic concerns for 2013 found that 24% were most worried about further falls in the real estate sector. 

Other concerns included China’s economy going off the boil and rising unemployment, which were rated as worries for a respective 23% and 21%. 

The prospect of another hung parliament after this year’s federal election was a major worry for 12% of brokers while 20% said they had no concerns.

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1300HomeLoan managing director John Kolenda said the results indicated that economic sentiment still remains low. 

“There’s clearly not a great deal of optimism about the year ahead with the direction of the property market heading the list of concerns,” Kolenda said. 

“At least it is encouraging to see one in five respondents to the survey have no concerns and let’s hope that sort of confidence is contagious.” 

Kolenda added that Reserve Bank of Australia policy would be critical in the year ahead. 

“The RBA needs to bring the official cash down by as much as a full percentage point from the current level of 3.0% in the first half of the year to help boost confidence,” he said.