Buyers more apprehensive than sellers amid interest rate uncertainty

Buyers are more concerned about current property market conditions than those looking to sell, a new survey from shows.

The latest Residential Audience Pulse Survey, conducted in April, found fewer buyers are feeling optimistic about purchasing a home, with the number of respondents saying now is a 'good time to buy' down 1% compared to the same time last year, at 35%.

In contrast, those believing that now was a good time to sell jumped 24% on last year, at 41%.

The main driver of buyer concern is the fact that 62% of respondents are either very or slightly concerned about interest rates.

There are mixed forecasts as to where interest rates are headed in the near future, causing buyers to be more wary of entering the market at the current time.

Additionally, one in five respondents said that they were experiencing mortgage stress as a result of increased interest rates pushing up monthly home loan repayments.

One of the main drivers of high seller sentiment is that sellers perceive prices as being good at the moment, with one in four perceiving that prices are high.

This is likely a reason why buyers are deterred from entering the market, as higher prices coupled with higher interest rates make buying more expensive than two years ago.

More property seekers are pessimistic about the market than sellers. Image: Getty.

This trend is especially pronounced in Western Australia, where survey respondents believing now was a good time to buy dropped by 11% to 21% in April.

Home values in Perth have grown by 20.16% in the past 12 months, higher than all other cities and regional areas.

This, coupled with low stock, has put additional stress on the budgets of Perth buyers.

Half of buyers in WA believed that we will see price and rate increases in the next six months, a sharp increase on the same time last year.

Respondents from Queensland and South Australia also had high concerns for price and rate increases, likely due to high price growth already seen in Brisbane and Adelaide in the past 12 months.

For those currently in the buying process, the main reason was for a lifestyle change, such as living in another area.

A 41% increase was seen in buyers wanting to move to a different area, mostly driven by respondents in New South Wales, QLD, and Victoria.

Older respondents (aged 50+) were more likely to favour a lifestyle change and were also looking to retire, downsize, and/or sell.

The current property market is marked by high buyer concern due to rising interest rates and property prices, while sellers are experiencing strong sentiment due to favourable selling conditions.

This has led to a cautious approach from buyers, particularly in high-growth areas like Perth, and a notable shift towards lifestyle-driven relocations among older demographics.

Originally published at:

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