Following the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, many property investors exited the market, anticipating a fall in the value of homes and their rental income.
However, the reopening of international borders, low borrowing rates, and record-high rental demand have prompted many to make a return.
Signs of this were apparent in the Australian Bureau of Statistic's new lending data, where the dollar value lent to investors was at a historical high in January this year.
Investor lending now accounts for almost a third of all new lending – the largest share since February 2018.
A recovery in investor interest is eventually needed to bring relief for renters who are facing immense competition due to low rental vacancies and a decline in total properties available to rent.
To answer the question of where investors are looking and where rental supply may improve, we examined one key metric: the growth in the number of email enquiries that investors were sending to agents in February 2022 compared to February 2021.
Regions in Queensland saw considerable growth in investor enquiries with;
Ipswich topped the list with a whopping 152% increase compared to February last year.
Enquiries in the regions of Darling Downs – Maranoa, near Toowoomba; Mackay – Isaac – Whitsunday, south of Townsville; and Logan – Beaudesert.
South of Brisbane also saw large increases with investors potentially hoping to benefit from strong interstate migration into Queensland, particularly in these coastal and nature-rich areas.
As we enter a period of near normalcy, we expect investors to continue returning to the housing market.
This will bring more choice and less competition for renters. Though their current interest lies in regional areas, we are likely to see some shifts to inner-city markets following the return of international students and reawakening of offices.
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