A Property blog by Paul Bennion.

The high level of investor confidence in the Australian property market is underlined by the latest ABS figures which show that lending to property investors reached a record high of $11.1 billion during April 2015.

Over the past year, lending to property investors has jumped by nearly $2 billion while over the past four years it has increased by over $5 billion on a monthly basis.

Very low interest rates and the growing uncertainty about the world economy are encouraging more people to invest in property.

This uncertainty about the world economy will be even further heightened by the current financial meltdown in Greece.

This global financial uncertainty is already having a negative impact on our stock market which in turn should encourage even more people to invest in property during the coming financial year.

2015/2016 is shaping up to be one of the most positive financial years for the property investment market in Australia during recent times.

Overall, we are now living in an environment of low interest rates and property investors can look with some confidence to very competitive borrowing costs during the coming financial year. Indeed, interest rates are expected to fall even further from their current record lows.

These very low interest rates combined with the capital growth and rental returns property delivers, means that property will is again emerging as a blue chip investment choice for many Australians.

During the last year, DEPPRO has recorded the emergence of a growing number of new first time property investors who have not bought an investment property before.

These first time new investors are now a major factor in the current upswing in property investment lending highlighted by the latest ABS figures.

However, one of the most common mistakes that first time investors make is not to claim their full tax depreciation benefits associated with owning an investment property.

Many of these first time property investors fail to understand that the tax benefits from depreciation can be just as important as rental income and that tax benefits obtained through depreciation can be equivalent to 60% of the total purchase price of the property.

A large proportion of these tax benefits are never claimed which means that each year hundreds of millions of dollars in tax benefits are lost by investors not claiming their legitimate entitlements.

Property investors can fully maximize these depreciation benefits by obtaining a depreciation report of their investment property from a member of The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS).