More Australians hesitant to get a mortgage: NAB data

The number of Australians who thought now was a good time to get a mortgage fell to one-in-five in Q2.

According to new data from NAB, just 18 per cent of Australians think now is a good time to buy a home – down from 23 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, marking the weakest result since NAB began surveying consumer attitudes towards buying property three years ago.

The data also found the number of Australians who thought now was a good time to get a mortgage fell to one-in-five in Q2 (19 per cent) in Q2 a drop from one in four in the previous quarter. 

Potential purchasers in the Australian Capital Territory are most enthused at present, with 27 per cent of respondents in the territory believing now is a good time to buy – a 2 per cent lift from 25 per cent in Q1.

It was the only state or territory to see a lift from the previous reporting period; Western Australian sentiment is down at 24 per cent from 32 per cent in Q1, Queensland dropped 6 per cent to 14 per cent, Victoria has seen positivity drop 4 per cent from 25 per cent in Q1 to 21 per cent, New South Wales’ sentiment is down 3 per cent to 18 per cent, and South Australia dropped from 17 per cent to 14 per cent.

Painting a negative picture of consumer sentiment when it comes to property, the changing market conditions have also had an impact on the willingness of would-be homeowners to take out a mortgage.

While almost one in four respondents from the Australian Capital Territory (24 per cent) and Western Australia (23 per cent) believe it’s a good time to obtain finance, just one in seven Tasmanians (14 per cent) feel the same way.  

The data echoes that from Equifax’s latest Quarterly Consumer Credit Demand Index, which found mortgage demand in Australia fell by 4.6 per cent between the March 2021 and March 2022 quarters. 

NAB executive home ownership, Andy Kerr, said the apprehension coincides with the bank’s forecasts for an 18 per cent drop in prices in the next 18 months – “which would take us back to January 2021 levels”.

Even so, it’s not all bad news, according to Mr Kerr, with new opportunities now on the table for many buyers.

“With a combination of house prices declining and the recent release of the First Home Guarantee Scheme, it will renew optimism for first home buyers.”

“So despite rising rates, we’re still seeing a steady intention of people looking to buy, even if sentiment is showing us that buyers may wait a little longer,” he shared.

The data is also showing that buyers are now looking at suburbs they previously wouldn’t have – citing the “desk change” for the alteration to demand – rather than the sea change or tree change seen in years gone by.

“New flexible working arrangements have allowed buyers to buy in suburbs that in the past would not have worked for full time commutes to the city,” Mr Kerr said.

“In the last 12 months, we are seeing more people buying in outer suburbs where it is more affordable and there is a train journey to the office for when they need to be there.”

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