Property Investors Dominate Australian Real Estate Market

Mortgage specialists expect 2010 will be a good year for Australia’s mortgage industry, but with property investors replacing first time buyers as the main purchasers as reported by PropertyWire.com.

Residential property prices in Australia increased by 11.3 percent after the country’s modest 3.8 percent peak-to-trough falls in 2008. According to the latest published information from RP Data and Riskmark International, the best performing city was Darwin with prices up 17.9%. Adelaide was the worst, recording just a 5.7% increase.

The volume of mortgages last year rose 10 to 12 percent and is expected to grow 4 to 5 percent this year, according to Mark Hewitt, general manager sales and operations, of Australian Finance Group. Investors now represent about 34 percent of all mortgages arranged by AGF, up from 25 percent a year ago. For example, two out of every five mortgages arranged in NSW were for investment properties.

Hewitt said investors looked to property as a ‘safe bet’ to offset the volatility in the share market and general uncertainties surrounding other forms of investment. Investors have been coming back since the middle of last year to take advantage of a tight rental market.

Ordinary families are waiting instead of upgrading. In comparison, property investors, able to take a long term view, are hoping to ride a new upward cycle in property values.

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