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Despite market uncertainties, most property professionals are upbeat about the year ahead, a new survey has found.

According to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) member survey, 97 per cent of property professionals are either ‘very optimistic” or ‘optimistic” about business conditions for 2017.

The survey gathered insights from various professionals including qualified property investment advisers, buyers’ agents and mortgage brokers.

PIPA chair Ben Kingsley said the findings are encouraging.

“These results are testament to the increasing professionalism of the property investment industry and the diversified businesses our members are building, ensuring they can navigate various market cycles,” Mr Kingsley said.

The survey also revealed 52 per cent of the respondents plan to employ more staff in 2017, while none have plans to reduce staff numbers.

“A buoyant property sector can make a significant contribution to the Australian jobs market and broader economy, and it’s great to see this is set to continue in the year ahead,” Mr Kingsley said.

The survey found the biggest concern for the industry is the tightening of investor lending, followed by rising interest rates.

Mr Kingsley said APRA’s approach to managing investor lending has raised both concerns and question marks.

“The government and industry regulators should be addressing the need for comprehensive regulation of property investment advice. Introducing a minimum standard of education or qualification for those providing property investment advice would ensure that Australian investors can receive the same level of appropriate guidance provided to anyone investing in other asset classes,” he said.

“Well-selected property remains a compelling long-term investment. Ensuring investors make well-informed, smart decisions, and that they are well protected from dodgy operators, would go a long way towards reducing the number of ill-fated property investment stories and buttressing the market.”

This view is echoed in the survey where 86 per cent of respondents believe Australian consumers need a more comprehensive education program for property investment.


Real Estate Business, 23 February 2017