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Investors rush back in | The West Australian

Perth’s investor market is bouncing back, with more and more people optimistic about property market conditions, according to experts in the field.

Anecdotal evidence of a resurgence has gelled with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data which shows nationwide property investor loan commitments have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

About $5 billion worth of new loans were logged in September, similar to the value recorded in February, according to the ABS.

The September figure coincided with a five per cent uptick in loans, following a substantial nine per cent rise recorded in August.

Your Property Your Wealth Director and Buyer’s Agent Daniel Walsh said buyer interest was soaring from first-time to seasoned investors, who were looking to take advantage of historically low interest rates and claim property before price hikes.

“Many investors have been watching and waiting to see what happened to property prices during the pandemic and now feel more confident to move forward with their investment plans,” he said.

“Of course, now we can all see that prices have held up extremely well and have even risen in some locations.”

Mr Walsh’s observations were echoed by Space Realty’s Aaron Potter, a licensed real estate agent who specialises in Perth’s northern beaches.

He said at the beginning of the year he noticed Perth’s investor market strengthening and he was pleased to see it had managed to persist throughout COVID-19.

“The data on this is historical so it’s not really showing too strongly in the statistics yet, but the Perth investor market is looking very good,” Mr Potter said.

“Things are really starting to move again, which is helping to increase prices.”

Mr Potter said his agency was experiencing a surge in inquiries and fast sales on apartments in particular, including one and two-bedroom units throughout Belmont, which found themselves quickly under offer.

He said with Perth’s rental vacancy rate at a significant low and COVID-19 assistance from governments, new investors were especially poised to jump into the market.

“Conversely, existing investors were hesitant because of legislation that prevented rent increases due to the pandemic and are still waiting to hear whether the government will definitely end the measures next year,” Mr Potter said.“But with fly-in, fly-out workers and a lot of people returning to WA, there have been many lifestyle purchases from people, particularly in the South West, and a lot of tenants are moving in.

“It helps when FIFO workers are able to fly in to their destinations from places like Bunbury. In some places along the coast, you have people willing to pay roughly $1000 per week, due to the lack of rental stock.

“At the moment, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of.”

While Perth’s investor scene is said to be growing, the 2020 Property Investment Professionals of Australia Annual Investor Sentiment Survey found 36 per cent of investors believed Brisbane offered the best prospects over the next year, the fifth year in a row Queensland’s capital has been pegged number one.

The survey also found 41 per cent of investors intended to buy property in a different state to the one they lived in within the next 12 months.

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