Larry Schlesinger | 7 December 2012

Appetite for new properties strongest in NSW: Mortgage Choice survey

NSW prospective buyers have the greatest appetite for off-the-plan apartments and house and land packages, according to the latest consumer sentiment survey by Mortgage Choice.

Mortgage Choice surveyed 1,025 customers of which around 400 said they would like to buy a property in the next two years.

Of these who intend to make a purchase over this time frame, buying an existing property remains the choice of at least one in two prospective buyers (50.6%) with just over one in 10 looking to buy a newly built home and around one in twenty looking to either buy an apartment off-the-plan or buy land to build their first home. 

A high proportion of prospective buyers (27.8%) remain undecided between existing and new property.

National

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

Existing
property

50.6%

48.1%

53.3%

48.1%

53.1%

Newly built
property

12.2%

12.0%

11.5%

14.3%

12.4%

Off the plan
property

5.5%

8.9%

3.6%

2.6%

7.2%

Land to
build a
property on

4.0%

5.1%

2.4%

5.2%

3.8%

Unsure yet

27.8%

25.9%

29.1%

29.9%

23.4%


Demand for established homes is highest among prospective buyers from Victoria and WA, the survey shows and lowest in NSW and Queensland – two states where the state government is incentivising first-home buyers to build or buy new homes.

Among those looking buy, nearly one in 10 in NSW (8.9%) are looking to buy off-the-plan, the highest percentage of all the major states followed WA (7.2%), Victoria (3.6%) and Queensland (2.6%).

Around one in 20 prospective buyers in NSW and Queensland are looking to buy land to build a new house on, according to the survey.

Demand for land is weakest Victoria with just 2.4% of Victorian prospective buyers looking to buy residential land on the fringes to build their home.

This result will send further alarm bells ringing among Victorian developers following September quarter findings of the National Land Survey Program, which found that 30% of Melbourne land is being returned by builders.

Of those who intend to buy over the next two years, almost one third (30%) will be first homebuyers, 25% are looking to buy their next home and a very proprtion - 45% - will be investors.

“This investor confidence is very good news. With interest rates the lowest they have been for some time and property prices remaining subdued in parts of the country it is clear from the research that many investors feel that this presents a good buying environment in Australia,” says Mortgage Choice spokesperson Belinda Williamson.

Other key statistics to emerge from the survey include: 

  • Rental squeeze: 39% of consumers feel tighter rental vacancy rates and/or rising rents is having an effect on property prices in their state and on them personally. 
  • Property prices: 34% of those surveyed believe Australian property prices will increase over the next 12 months, 16% believe they will decrease, 34% believe prices will remain stable and 16% don’t know.

  • The property purchase process: When asked how well informed respondents were about the property purchase process, 19% were well informed, 33% know the essentials, 35% have some idea and 14% have no idea.  

  • The switch to fixed: 45% of mortgage holders will consider switching to a fixed term loan when lenders’ fixed rates fall below 5%.
  •  Using a mortgage broker: 65% of respondents will consider using a mortgage broker in the future.

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