The media has been irresponsible in its reporting on the weakening market, according to Barry Plant, director of the Barry Plant Group.

“The person on the street could be forgiven for thinking the current property market in Victoria is headed for Armageddon if they based their knowledge on the sound bites and headlines that some of our media outlets are unfortunately using,” Plant said.

Plant is concerned that the current state of the market is being overstated by news outlets. “Headlines such as ‘Property market falls off a cliff’ are just irresponsible. If you do read the whole article there may be some qualifying data buried in it, but the danger is that people are not delving deeper for their information,” he said.

Exaggerated news may spark nervousness among buyers and deter them from the market, Plant said. When this happens, other industries are also likely to suffer the consequences.

“Not only the real estate industry is depressed, but there’s a flow-on effect to conveyancers, lawyers, landscapers, hardware stores, furniture stores and, of course, state government revenues,” he said.

In addition, homeowners’ lifestyles appears to be affected, Plant said. They try to cut down expenses, thinking that the value of their property is dropping.

Plant is confident that the availability of finance will track upwards, given that the findings of the banking royal commission have been released.

“There’s definitely a market correction going on after a seriously long run of increasing house prices. This downturn is driven to a large extent by a credit squeeze as a result of banks keeping their heads down after the royal commission. But banks need to lend money to make money, so I am confident that now that the royal commission findings have been handed down, there will be more availability of finance,” Plant said.