More and more investors are joining the call for the property investment industry to be regulated.

The recent Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA)  Investor Sentiment Survey found that the vast majority of investors believe the provision of property investment advice should be underpinned by relevant legislation. 

Although investors are becoming more sophisticated – with 31 per cent of survey respondents having a set strategy for investing – 87 per cent consider that more investment education about the risks and potential benefits of investing in property is needed.

Even higher numbers, at 89 per cent, believe that the property investment industry should be regulated and licensed in the same way as many other professionals.

Most investors also believe that property advisers should have some formal vocational training, and that the property investment industry should be regulated and licensed in the same way as financial planners and mortgage brokers

“Unlike financial planning and mortgage broking, the provision of property investment advice still remains unregulated,” PIPA chairman Ben Kingsley says.

“PIPA is committed to raising the professional standards of this industry and will continue to lobby the government to regulate property investment advice and educate investors to help them make informed investment decisions.”

The survey results show that investors see property investment as an industry that should be subject to professional standards.

About 65 per cent of investors are aware of PIPA and almost all of these people know that its members abide by a strict professional code of conduct.

The survey results also found that mortgage brokers remain by far the most important source of finance for property investors, with 65 per cent of investors securing their last investment loan through a broker. Some 71 per cent plan on securing their next investment loan through a broker.

“In the complex borrowing environment we are now facing, brokers continue to play a key role as providers of finance to investors. They tend to better understand the investment lending landscape and offer great choice to investors,” Kingsley says.

The survey also found that property investors do a lot of planning and researching before they buy. More than 19 per cent  have a detailed plan and another 31 per cent have a set strategy for investing.

More than half have, in the past, used the services of: a mortgage broker; an accountant; a lawyer/conveyancer; and a property manager. Some 44 per cent have used the services of a property investment adviser, while 19 per cent have worked with a property investment coach.