How the housing market remained resilient amid COVID lockdowns

By Gerv Tacadena | 12 Jul 2021

The unique dynamics of the COVID-induced lockdowns have insulated the housing market from the drastic impacts of the pandemic, according to the latest study from CoreLogic.

The study found that during the recent lockdown in Sydney, its housing scene remained relatively resilient, particularly the auction market. In fact, for the two weeks ending 4 July, Sydney has seen 74.6% of scheduled auctions turned to a sale.

The housing market's resiliency was also apparent in the movement of house prices. The market recorded a peak-to-trough decline of just 2.1% through 2020. This was offset by the 12.2% surge in prices during the first six months of 2021.

"There was a lot of uncertainty amid stage two restrictions nationally last year, and sentiment for housing market outcomes plummeted. But supply also declined, because sellers and agents knew it may not be the best time to market property. That helped to balance out the overall effect on prices," said Eliza Owen, head of research for Australia at CoreLogic.

Owen said that government and institutional responses played a key role in maintaining the housing market's stability.

“A big part of why the housing market didn’t see further value declines was the enormous income support packages provided to households, the role of JobKeeper in maintaining employment relationships, low mortgage rates and mortgage repayment deferrals,” she said. “In the event of another extended lockdown, the future of housing demand and supply becomes much less certain if that same government and institutional support is not there.”

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