Why more Australians are expecting house prices to surge

The proportion of Australians expecting house prices in their area to climb has almost quadrupled in just three months.

In September, just five per cent of people surveyed by financial comparison website Finder expected local property values to significantly increase.

Yet by December, that almost multiplied four-fold to 19 per cent, the poll of 1,004 Australians found.

Last year, property prices reached record highs in 39 out of Australia’s 88 statistical regions, CoreLogic data showed.

The proportion of Australians expecting house prices in their area to climb has almost quadrupled in just three months from five per cent in September to 19 per cent in December, a Finder survey showed. Pictured is a Brisbane house auction in 2020

The proportion of Australians expecting house prices in their area to climb has almost quadrupled in just three months from five per cent in September to 19 per cent in December, a Finder survey showed. Pictured is a Brisbane house auction in 2020

Regional areas and major cities outside of Sydney and Melbourne benefited from new work-from-home arrangements.

In light of this, the proportion of Finder respondents expecting Australian property values to ‘somewhat increase’ last month rose to 44 per cent – more than double April’s 18 per cent during the early stage of the pandemic.

Finder insights manager Graham Cooke said the survey results showed Australians were upbeat about the economy, after a horror year that included the Covid recession.

‘This rebound in buyer confidence is indicative of increased economic activity over the past few months, along with an optimistic outlook for 2021,’ he said.

‘Not only did the Australian government do a better job than most at restricting the spread of COVID-19, but federal and state economic support measures helped prop up the property market.’

Last year, property prices reached record highs in 39 out of Australia's 88 statistical regions, CoreLogic data showed. Pictured is a house on the market at Byron Bay on the far north coast of New South Wales

Last year, property prices reached record highs in 39 out of Australia’s 88 statistical regions, CoreLogic data showed. Pictured is a house on the market at Byron Bay on the far north coast of New South Wales

Melbourne was the only capital city market where home values went backwards in 2020, with prices in Australia’s second biggest city falling 1.3 per cent after six months of decline.

The Victorian capital was also Australia’s only state or territory capital to see an increase in listings last year, with the number of homes on the market increasing by 13.8 per cent.

The end of Melbourne’s three-month lockdown in late October boosted pre-Christmas cash register and online commerce activity with retail sales surging by 7.1 per cent in November, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.

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