A “surprising” 37 per cent of Australians want lower house prices, according to a survey of 1500 Australians by ME Bank, including 24 per cent who own a home and 20 per cent with an investment property.
The overall result, however, was split, with 38 per cent of people keen to see prices keep rising.
When asked why they want house prices to fall, an overwhelming 97 per cent of homeowners responded “to help address the housing affordability issue”.
The responses can be taken as a sure sign house prices have reached heights many think are unfair, according to ME Bank’s general manager of home loans Patrick Nolan.
With high prices disrupting the dream of home ownership and the benefits that brings, views are changing.ME Bank general manager of home loans Patrick Nolan
“Traditionally Australians fall into two camps when it comes to property prices: owners, who want them to rise, and non-owners, who want them to fall,” Mr Nolan said.
“But with high prices disrupting the dream of home ownership and the benefits that brings, views are changing.”
Most tellingly, according to the researchers, the survey indicates more Australians would benefit from property prices falling than rising – 28 per cent indicated they’d benefit by selling if prices continued to rise, compared to 47 per cent who said they’d benefit by buying if property prices fell.
The survey, carried out this month, also shows any adjustment to prices could create shockwaves, with 43 per cent of respondents saying they were reliant on future house price gains to achieve life or financial goals – 10 per cent are completely reliant.
Younger Australians appear more reliant on future house price gains, with a slim majority of Millennials (25-39 year olds) responding that they were “reliant”, compared with 30 per cent of Baby Boomers (55-74 year olds).
The bulk of those wanting house prices to continue rising are property owners, with 49 per cent of home owners and 55 per cent of investors still looking for gains.
The report comes as an increasing number of property analysts and economists call the top of the Australian capital city house price boom, especially UBS economists, who announced the boom is “officially over” this month.
“There is now a persistent and sharp slowdown unfolding,” economists George Tharenou and Carlos Cacho wrote to clients. The investment bank said the price falls would end 55 years of unprecedented growth that has seen home values soar by more than 6500 per cent.