19 Jun 2020

The UDIA | Urbis Home Purchaser sentiment survey is conducted twice a year to test the temperature among potential home buyers.

At the time of the most recent survey, NSW was easing restrictions on the COVID-19 lockdown and a small but determined spark of optimism has shone through in these results.

Residents across Greater Sydney were surveyed last month to ascertain their thoughts and feelings toward the property market – especially in relation to a good time to purchase a property, different property types and locations they preferred.

The report shows a downward shift in sentiment since the last survey with increased pessimism around purchasing property in the next 12 months. The softening in sentiment was however relatively moderate, suggesting cautious optimism by prospective purchasers in the medium-term fundamentals of the Sydney property market.

“Given the timing of the survey, which coincided with major Government announcements, and the fact that we did not see a dramatic decline in sentiment since the survey in July 2019, it is clear that signals from Government at all levels are critical to bring about confidence in the property market,” said Associate Director of Urbis Kylie Newcombe.

UDIA NSW has indicated in their March ‘Project Bounce Back’ that a long-term government strategy on stimulus was necessary with consideration over the next 24 months due to the long lead times on new housing builds.

UDIA NSW has previously stated that the Federal Government HomeBuilder stimulus package will have limited application in Greater Sydney due to the $750,000 cap. The average pricing for house and land packages in Sydney exceeds the cap. There is also limited application for off-the-plan sales and any greenfield lots which do not already have titling in place.

UDIA NSW has this week renewed calls for a $25,000 stamp duty discount for new and off-the plan sales for the next twelve months regardless of whether a purchaser is a first-home buyer or not.

“More than half of all residents in the UDIA-Urbis Home Purchaser Sentiment Survey believe changes to stamp duty will give them confidence in the property market,” said Steve Mann, chief executive UDIA NSW.

“Other states have sought to expand their own programs following the Federal Government’s program, leaving NSW lagging behind,” said Mr Mann.

“With our industry currently employing a quarter of NSW, we need the State Government to support this Federal Stimulus package with stimulus of their own which will fill the gaps,” said Mr Mann.

A total of 531 Sydney residents were surveyed in the period 7-12 May 2020. 

1. Moderate shift in sentiment since July 2019 – 52% are positive about purchasing in the current market, down from 57% from August 2019.

2. There was a more downward shift when considering whether it was a good time to buy through an investor lens. 32% were negative compared with 19% negative when making an assessment through an owner occupier lens.

3. Residents appear to view the impacts on property prices as short term. Half believe prices will be lower in 6 months’ time with the majority (63%) expecting prices will be higher in 18 months’ time.

4. The impact on searching for property has seen 22% of residents putting their search on hold since COVID-19 lockdowns, most of whom are casual searchers.

5. There is strong support for stamp duty reform as a tool to improve confidence among homeowners and some renters. 54% of renters said First Home Owner targeted polices would impact positively on their confidence.

Residents were given five options for choosing which suburb they would most like to live in. These results show the top suburbs for most mentions in the 2019 and 2020 survey.

1. Parramatta
2. Castle Hill
3. Chatswood
4. Blacktown
5. Balmain

To view the survey results featured on UDIA TV’s Developers Voice webinar,  click on the below thumbnail.





For more information, get in touch with our expert #cityshaper team 

Kylie Newcombe View Profile
Clinton Ostwald View Profile