Confidence is strong in the residential property industry, according to several different reports, although there are regional differences across the nation.

While consumer confidence generally is patchy, sentiment within real estate is much stronger.

Across the country, the measure of confidence in the housing industry rose to its highest level since 2014 at 135 – up from 132 three months ago – according to the most recent quarterly ANZ/Property Council survey.

The Property Council says there has been a sharp jump in sentiment in Western Australia after the recent state election, which has helped lift the national position.

“WA has had one of the biggest single quarterly changes we’ve seen in the history of this survey,” says Property Council chief of policy and housing Glenn Byres.

NSW remains the most confident state, but survey participants across each state say they expect faster capital growth over the next year than they did when surveyed in the previous quarter. The exception is WA, where values were still tipped to fall, but less sharply than before.

The latest survey for the NAB Residential Property Index finds that Australian housing market sentiment jumped to a three-year high in the March Quarter.

The NAB Residential Property Index rose by +16 to +31 supported by more positive expectations for house price and rental growth.

NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster says: “The latest results paint a picture of a very resilient market.”
This is despite ongoing concerns about housing affordability in the biggest cities, issues concerning supply and speculation of official measures to reign in lending.

Market sentiment improved to survey-high levels in NSW (+58) and Victoria (+58), and there were also encouraging gains in other states.

“Large gains were reported in SA/NT (+42) along with modest gains in Queensland (+13),” says Oster.

Another report indicates that developers remain confident in the strength of the residential market.

There is still plenty of demand, particularly from first-home­ buyers for affordable homes, according to Mark Steinert, chief executive of the country’s biggest residential developer, Stockland.

“The market remains strong and we’re certainly not seeing any evidence of the market weakening,” Steinert told The Australian.
“As it relates to delivering affordable products we see a strong response and an increase in engagement from first-home buyers and owner-occupiers more broadly.”

But he expects “some moderation” in the market given both a supply response and restrictions on banks lending to investors.