One-third of buyers say interest rates don’t impact decision to get on the property ladder

Interest rates do not influence the decisions of more than one-third of Australian buyers when it comes to buying or selling property, according to recent research.

Preliminary findings from InfoTrack’s 2024 State of Real Estate Report: Insights from Australian Buyers and Sellers, showed 37 percent of respondents did not view interest rates as a major factor on whether they transacted or not.

The insights follow the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision this month, to leave the cash rate on hold at 4.35 per cent, for the sixth consecutive month.

Survey respondent Tom McGuigan, 27, said he chose to buy a two-bedroom unit in the inner Brisbane suburb of Lutwyche, to get a foothold in the market.

He said the interest rate climate didn’t weigh on his mind and he made sure he was prepared for changes.

“The consensus I heard about property is, get in when you can,” he said.

“I had the deposit, so I made my move.”

Mr McGuigan said the rental crisis did affect his decision to buy a property. 

“Rapidly rising rents further incentivised me to buy and pay off a loan rather than pay off someone else’s mortgage at an overly inflated price,” Mr McGuigan said.

“There was a lot of stress among my peers with rising interest rates late last year, but I factored rate rises into my purchase and gave myself a financial buffer.”

The research also showed 27 per cent of survey respondents listed property prices as a main challenge in their buying decisions, followed by 20 per cent who cited market conditions.

Mr McGuigan said rising prices and tough competition meant he wanted to move as soon as he had a decent deposit saved.

“In the two to three months that I was looking, properties were going up five to 10 thousand dollars per month, and they are still rising now,” he said.

“I was looking for a two-bedroom apartment and knew a house within the Brisbane metro area was not even an option for the price I wanted to pay.”

InfoTrack Head of Property, Lee Bailie, said while interest rates might not stop buyers from purchasing, they can influence the type of property they buy.

“Getting on or moving up the property ladder is a priority for many buyers, but interest rates, property prices, and the rising cost of living means some buyers must compromise on the size, type, and location of property they buy,” Mr Bailie said.

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