Demographic changes are affecting the Australian property market and investors may find certain segments more competitive now than in previous years. In what became a roundup of 2013 trends, industry experts told an Australian Property Institute forum that changes in population, family size, age and wealth are shaping real estate demand, the Telegraph (Australia) reported.

New housing products are also set to make a big impact, but there are mixed opinions over whether smaller lots, compact houses and fancy facades will translate into strong sales. REIWA president David Airey explained to the Residential Outlook 2013 forum, that buyer preferences are difficult to predict and investors are often driven by factors other than the property itself, the newspaper relayed.

"Very successful estates have the right mix of things: shopping centres, transport nearby, plenty of public open space, schools and the ability to move around freely,’’ Mr Airey said. "People will not change their need for transport; it will become a growing need, and it needs to be rail or light rail or buses in a dedicated route. We need schooling and good retail options so people can go shopping in their own areas. That’s the mix of ingredients that works."

This indicates that what will attract overseas investors may not have quite the same appeal in the domestic market. What's more, as new communities spring up and populations increase, property prices in key areas will be affected, as new 'hot spots' emerge.

Nonetheless, the future looks relatively bright for the Australian property market, with the latest Fitch Rating report indicating that stability will be the name of the game in 2013. Experts predict that house prices will remain flat throughout the year, but mortgage defaults will be among the lowest in the developed world. New homes are also proving popular, with sales increasing for a second consecutive month, according to the latest Housing Industry Association report. Contractions will occur in some areas, however, such as the Gold Coast - a spot traditionally popular with overseas buyers.



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