April was a disrupted month for the property market with school holidays, Easter and Anzac Day breaking it up. When you then add Covid-19 into the equation the result was a sharp decline in the number of properties listed for the month. In fairness though, with so much rapid change through March, it appeared many people used April to catch their breath and start to establish a routine in the restricted new environment. It was expected to see listings decrease for the month but on the upside we detected a noticeable improvement in optimism late in April and that looks likely to continue into May.

We’ve read and assessed all the commentary and predictions being published on the property market and the variance in opinions has been huge. As a result of Covid-19 property values are estimated to correct anywhere between 5% and 40% according to the so-called experts. They seem to have made these suggestions based on the same data, so it’s difficult to comprehend how the variations can be so significant. What we have seen is any price gains that the market enjoyed from October through to early March this year have been wiped off, which equates to 5-10% depending on the quality of the asset. We suspect there may be a little more softening to come however a key factor we identified in the closing stages of April was a big jump in positive sentiment which coincided with flattening the curve and restrictions beginning to be lifted.

Australia is ahead of the game with the virus and delivered a ‘best case scenario’ against the early estimations. There is now a strong push to get the economy moving forward and this movement is starting to eliminate the fear that many prospective buyers and sellers held about transacting in the current environment. That said, we are heading into the winter period when new listings tend to reduce plus there is the legitimate concern of a second wave of infections, particularly as we enter our flu season. Consequently, the property market is treading forward with cautious optimism and this is certainly reflected in the conversations we’re continuing to have with both buyers and sellers.

In our view, the local property market is in far better shape than many had expected given the huge economic shift. We’re not out of the woods by any stretch, yet we’ve continued to help many people keep moving through this uncertain period, despite a public perception that not much is happening in the property sector. Interestingly, there has been a sharp increase in property enquiry which tells us that many people are continuing to monitor the market. We’re averaging just over 300 weekly private buyer inspections and sold just over 50 properties in both March and April. There is also widening conversation about adjusting stamp duty in NSW and Victoria, so moving forward it appears that the Federal and State Governments will be looking at more consistent revenue streams that also support transactions. It’s an interesting time economically and with so much constant adjustment we can only rely on what’s happening today as in our view, no-one can accurately predict how the next six months will play out.  


Posted in Uncategorized on 1st May, 2020