Property investors have maintained their optimism about the property market this year, as three in five believe now is a good time to invest, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

The latest PIPA poll showed that real estate investors have actively participated in the market over the past year, with a third of investors buying a property.

About the same proportion of investors plan to buy a home in the next six to 12 months.

Real estate investors also had positive expectations about real estate prices this year.

In fact, 76% of them believe their respective states and territories will see solid real estate appreciations in the coming year.

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos said the results of this year’s polls indicate that more property investors are confident in the property market, despite the hiccups caused by recent lockdowns and restrictions.

“When we think back to last year, a time of much fear and uncertainty, it is clear that real estate investors and the market in general weathered that turbulent period better than anyone could have ever hoped,” said Koulizos.

“That said, last year’s survey did predict the surge in real estate prices we’ve seen since then, but not many people believed us at the time.”

With high market optimism, 76% of investors expect prices to rise further in the next 12 months.

Investment veterans lead the way

The majority of investors planning to buy in the coming year are “veterans,” or those who have purchased multiple properties in the past.

Nearly half of these veterans currently own two to four properties, while about 20% have five to ten properties.

One fifth of these investment veterans currently own only one investment property.

While investment veterans lead the pack in terms of activity and prospects, new investors still made significant contributions.

Of all real estate transactions in the past year, 16% were from first-time buyers.

Queensland rises as the best investment spot

While the COVID lockdowns didn’t dampen investor sentiment, they did change the way investors would want to invest.

The survey found that about a quarter of investors would like to look outside the crowded cities.

For 58% of all investors, Queensland has the best investment prospects of all states and territories.

Brisbane also beat its counterparts, with 54% of investors believing it to have the brightest outlook of any capital city.

A similar study by the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) confirms this: it found that regions of Queensland were among the best performing regions in the first six months of the year.

Investors looking for long-term capital gains

Long-term capital gains remain the number one goal for investors, with 60% saying it’s the most important aspect of their investments.

Meanwhile, 28% of investors said long-term rental income was their main motivation for investing.

In terms of challenges, a third of investors said access to loans was the main issue.

According to the research, about 22% of investors have found themselves in a position where they could not refinance an amount they could previously borrow.

Other concerns include a major correction in property prices, economic conditions and further lockdowns.

To allay any concerns about the market, 51% of investors sought help from an investment professional.

Mr Koulizos said that in today’s market it is advisable for investors to work with qualified investment experts.

“Whether investors are looking for a qualified advisor, mortgage broker or accountant, they should look for a qualified real estate investment advisor as the best guarantee that they are dealing with a trusted and well-trained professional,” he said.