‘Earlier than expected’ recovery pinpointed for property

A real estate group says some positive signs are beginning to emerge within Australia’s property market.

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RPM Real Estate Group has released its latest quarterly research, “which pinpoints the moment COVID-19 put the brakes on the Victorian property market mid-March, prior to which buyer activity and new home sales had been gaining solid momentum for three months”.

According to the research, there was a period of bleakness following the pandemic being declared. However, signs of buyer activity in April and May are promising in “pointing to a potentially earlier than expected recovery”.

“The situation we find ourselves in is totally unprecedented, and we can’t accurately crystal ball what’s to come; there are just too many unknowns at play,” said RPM CEO Kevin Brown.

“Australia’s response to COVID-19 has been swift and effective compared to many other countries, so we believe that will bode well for the property market in the medium to longer term.

“However, we do expect the June and September quarters to show falls on the back of cancellations and price contractions. We’re analysing data sets weekly to see how this plays out.”

Mr Brown noted that the impact of JobKeeper’s expiration and migration intakes moving forward were some of the major unknowns. However, that being said, he explained some positive signs were beginning to emerge.

“Early signs out of the initial COVID-19 period are promising – real estate platforms have reported an increase in international buyer enquiries, while our sales offices are experiencing higher visitation when comparing the first two weekends of April to the first two weekends in May,” Mr Brown explained.

“Last weekend, we had people waiting outside a sales suite to come in after announcements were made allowing sales offices and display homes to reopen.

“And while the April 2020 result for the Melbourne market was a relatively modest 638 lots, it was still above the previous trough being 499 lot sales in April 2019.”

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