A Review of the Melbourne Property Market in March 2020

Possibly one of the most interesting months to review in recent times, March in Melbourne included the imposition of city-wide lockdowns in an effort to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. 

Before the pandemic, Melbourne’s housing market was in a rebound following the most recent downturn, but along came the COVID-19 crisis which took a sledgehammer to the economic climate including the Reserve Bank of Australia cutting the cash rate.

Many industries were affected by lockdowns, which for the real estate industry meant a decline in unique listings in the short-term rental market and vacancy rates. There is good news for investors however due to the aforementioned rate cut and relatively untouched long-term market viability.

More good news in the fact that the current economic downturn may be somewhat brief! It is likely the market will pick up where it left off with cheap credit, tight housing supply and low building approvals.

Residential property prices have been rising steadily, and thanks to its strong foundations, housing values rose across most capital cities in March with Melbourne at 2.9 per cent.

The crisis offers some serious silver-linings in the property market thanks to government stimulus, leniency from lenders and record-low interest rates, all of which will likely mean insulated housing rates.

Moving forward

Consumers may wait to see how the virus plays out, but it is highly likely that the market will see a strong recovery at some point, making now a great time to buy.

The economy is facing short-term challenges, but the state of the property market is underpinned by the fact that 70 per cent of owners are there for the long term. There is a current total LVR of 22 per cent across investments and owner-occupied properties, providing some security, for now.

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