Can COVID-19 defeat the Australian property market?
The reintroduction of snap lockdowns across Australia in response to a resurgence of COVID-19 is unlikely to put a significant dent in the property market, given its prior record in dealing with worse circumstances at the peak of the pandemic in 2020.
Strict lockdowns do impact the number of houses coming onto the market, in turn creating some short term impacts on prices as buyers stay at home. However, post lockdown the bounce back has proved to be strong, leading to record prices in most capital cities being recorded by the end of 2020.
State governments around Australia commenced the imposition of tough lockdown measures in March 2020, which proved highly effective at containing the initial spread of COVID, and were subsequently followed by a slew of ongoing nationwide restrictions.
While leading property forecasters such as SQM Research founder Louis Christopher forecast home price declines of as high as 30 per cent as a result of these measures, the Australian property sector instead bounced back to post a record-breaking performance by the end of 2020.
Technology can overcome many business hurdles imposed by lockdowns.
The Victorian capital’s experience indicates however, that lockdowns need not be an impediment to staging of property sales, and that the local property sector has already made rapid adjustments using online technology.
Ray White chief executive Stephen Dullens has said lockdowns in 2020 gave the property sector ample experience with the use of Internet platforms to conduct sales.
Melbourne realtors invested heavily in online sales technology last year in response to city-wide home confinement measures, and vendors are now confident as well as conversant in its usage.
(Source: Citibank Australia )