A Finance blog by Paul Bennion.

Falling interest rates over the past year are contributing to a buoyant property investment market in Australia, with 2013 shaping up to be one of the most positive years in recent times.

New investment home loan figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that on a monthly basis home loans have jumped by nearly $1 billion during the past year. According to the latest ABS data, property investors secured home loans valued at $6.12 billion in October 2012, compared to $5.2 billion in October 2011.

The ABS figures also show that lending to property investors steadily increased throughout 2012 from a low of $4.95 billion in January 2012 to more than $6 billion in October 2012.

“We are now living in an environment of falling interest rates. Property investors can look with some confidence to further cuts in the cost of borrowing during 2013,” said Paul Bennion, Managing Director of DEPPRO.

“These very low interest rates, combined with high rental returns, mean that property will again emerge as a blue chip investment choice for many Australians. 2013 should see a growing number of new first time property investors.”

Bennion added that first time investors shouldn’t make the common mistake of failing to claim the full tax depreciation benefits associated with owning an investment property. Bennion recommends that all investors maximise their depreciation benefits by obtaining a depreciation report for their investment property from a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.