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The one thing keeping Aussie home-buyers up at night

Sydney, Australia - July, 23, 2016: Ferry riding the Sydney Harbour in Cremorne Point suburb of Sydney
Sydney, Australia - July, 23, 2016: Ferry riding the Sydney Harbour in Cremorne Point suburb of Sydney

Australians are feeling a little less positive about property now than they were at the start of the year, and it’s no wonder, given an overwhelming large amount of us still don’t think we can afford a house.

According to ME Bank’s second Quarterly Property Sentiment Report, a huge 93 per cent of respondents agreed that, while prices are falling in some areas, housing affordability was still a big issue in Australia.

It’s a perception ME’s group executive of customer banking, Craig Ralston, said will take time to shift.

But while that might be true, Australians are feeling pretty good about property price growth, with 38 per cent of us believing our home value will increase - up from 32 per cent last quarter.

On top of that, other property worries have also eased, which is reflective of the bank regulator’s announcement of serviceability changes, two cash rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Federal Election.

Where are Australians expecting house prices to rise?

More Aussies think house prices in Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria will see rise than fall.

But most think it will stay the same in the ACT, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and New South Wales.

However, most homeowners and first-home buyers remain cautious with the majority having no plan to buy or sell in the next 12 months while they expect prices to rise.

“There are more fence sitters who appear to be taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to the market – which is not surprising considering the recent economic and political changes,” Ralston said.

Do we need to be concerned?

Experts say we’re at the tail end of this property slump, which means going forward, we can definitely expect property prices to rise.

Michael Yardney, director of Metropole Property Strategists, believes there could be a little more downside in Melbourne and Sydney to come - which means it’s a good time to buy.

But Yardney warns you should only be buying in “areas where there are multiple long-term growth drivers such as employment growth, population growth or major infrastructure changes”.

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