CoreLogic: Property market withstanding lockdowns

CoreLogic’s head of research, Eliza Owen, has released data showing that property transaction activity is holding up well despite hard lockdowns across Sydney and Melbourne:

Initial stage 2 restrictions in 2020 coincided with a drop in sales volumes nationally through April of -33.9%. This included a fall in Sydney sales of -36.7%, and -40.3% across Melbourne. The fall in sales was associated with transactions being harder to carry out amid restrictions, low levels of consumer confidence, and the level of employment falling by about 600,000 jobs through the same month, which may have disrupted intentions to purchase property.

While social distancing restrictions have been reinstated across much of the country, other factors are much more conducive to property sales still taking place. Through 2020, lockdown periods saw the accumulation of household savings (which skyrocketed to 21.6% through the June 2020 quarter, and remains elevated). The cash rate was set to a record low 0.1% in November, and the average cost of debt has continued to decline. Sydney lockdowns have also seen a much milder decline in employment levels, with the number of people employed falling -0.9% across NSW over July 2021, as opposed to -5.9% through April 2020.

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