SYDNEY, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Confidence in Australia's property and construction industry has surged to a new record high, a survey released on Thursday showed.
The Property Council/ANZ Property Industry Confidence Index to March 2014 increased to 140, up from 132 in the December quarter, boosted by low interest rates and high demand from residential and commercial property investors.
The results showed Queensland confidence increased sharply in the March quarter with a reading of 152 index points, the highest in the country.
"During the past three months, industry's house price growth expectations have grown to the highest levels in the country, and to historic levels for Queensland," Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia Kathy MacDermott said in a statement.
The Australian housing market remains at the early stages of a solid cyclical upturn, according to an ANZ Bank analysis.
"The March quarter survey results reveal ongoing improvement in housing market sentiment," it said.
"Both house price and residential building activity expectations increased to record levels foreshadowing further gains in 2014."
Residential Development Council Executive Director Caryn Kakas said the March quarter expectations spell good news for home owners and first home buyers.
"Home owners will benefit from rising house prices with increased financial stability for families and a bigger nest egg for retirees," she said in a statement on Thursday.
"And while higher prices mean first home buyers face an uphill battle to secure a foothold in the market, an expected increase in supply means more opportunities to buy a first home at a realistic price."