Bust imminent as Australian housing catches virus

ABC’s The Business last night ran a segment on how the coronavirus pandemic is likely to hammer Australia’s housing market, causing sharp falls in prices, rents and transaction volumes.

The segment features real estate agents, landlords, AMP’s Shane Oliver and CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless, and claims that dwelling vales could fall by as much as 20%.

Meanwhile, all five Bondi apartments that went to auction under Sydney’s last public auctions failed to sell:

All five apartments that went under the hammer in Bondi failed to find a buyer…

PM Scott Morrison’s ban on public auctions and open homes came into effect at midnight so agents had scrambled to bring forward the sales — those in Bondi carefully staged in agent offices with one out west at a Strathfield car park.

In Bondi, Ray White Unlimited principal Ron Bauer said all the buyers who turned up had “felt opportunistic” and seen the auction at the agency’s offices as “an opportunity to snag a bargain”…

Bauer said the vendors were coming at tonight’s auction from a different perspective to the bargain hunters.

“Our clients didn’t come onto the market in uncertain times — they started this process in an excellent market … arguably a booming market.

“But the world has changed in the last month and this is where we’ve landed.”

No doubt a few weeks ago these apartments would have fetched exorbitant prices.

It’s a taste of the new reality facing property, with the worst yet to come.

Leith van Onselen

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