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Real Estate Market Confidence Returns

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According to a recent National Australian Bank (NAB) poll, Australia’s housing market has regained the confidence of property analysts and market watchers. Confidence among property professionals over the next 12 months improved in all states (bar SA/NT) and is now positive for all states. Confidence is highest in WA (up 25 to +48 points) and QLD (up 37 to +42 points), where expectations for house prices are also strongest.

However, it improved most in VIC (up 38 to +25 points), mainly reflecting a strong outlook for rents. Confidence levels remain weakest in NSW (up 31 to +5 points), but turned positive for the first time since Q1 2018.

Longer-term confidence levels (2 years) also strengthened in all states (bar SA/NT), with particularly sharp increases in VIC (up 37 to +45 points) and QLD (up 34 to +56 points). There was also a noticeable improvement among property professionals in NSW (up 21 to +29), leaving SA/NT (down 7 to +25 points) as the least confident state in 2 years.

In WA, confidence rose further from already elevated levels (up 6 to +61 points), and property professionals in that state continue to be the most confident about their local housing market conditions in the longer-term.

The Index, a housing market optimism indicator focused on both capital growth and rent expectations of property professionals, rose 26 points in the September quarter to an above-average of + 18. “The results suggest the Australian housing market is on the way to recovery,” NAB chief economist Alan Oster said.

The survey also shows positive house price projections over the next 12 months, with prices expected to increase by 2021. Property investment specialists in all states except WA expect gains from Victoria and NSW to be seen in the coming year. “This marks a sharp reversal from the previous survey where Victoria and NSW were expected to be the weakest states for price growth and the only states where prices were tipped to fall,” Oster said.

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