Melbourne property market remaining strong despite coronavirus fears

10 March 2020

The coronavirus is all over the news and starting to affect the stock market significantly but it hasn’t made much impact on Melbourne’s property market yet.

The action was hot on the weekend with plenty of buyers putting in bids on auctions and strong clearance rates recorded.

Coming off the RBA’s rate cut to a new record-low last week, Melbourne recorded an auction clearance rate of just under 70 per cent from 345 listings over the long weekend.

AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver says he expects our house prices to continue their improvement but admits the coronavirus presents a possible threat.

"Poor affordability, the weak economy and still tight lending standards are expected to see the pace of gains slow,” he told Australian Financial Review.

“Coronavirus is posing an increasing risk if people decide to put buying on hold and particularly if the economy gets knocked into recession by the virus resulting in higher unemployment.”

The Melbourne long weekend quietened things a bit but John Bongiorno from Marshall White that activity had still been firing up over the past week and buyers didn’t want to shelve plans because of the coronavirus.

“We are seeing a lot more inquiry from expats coming back from Hong Kong and Singapore,” he told AFR.

“The interest rate cut has had an impact just on people's confidence – the market was already pretty buoyant prior to that but it's added a little fuel to the fire."

Up in Sydney, things were even rosier on the weekend, with the nation’s biggest city recording an auction clearance rate of around 80 per cent from 675 properties that went under the hammer.


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Melbourne’s weekend auctions could be suspended as part of a state-wide shutdown of non-essential services.

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The RBA has made an emergency interest rate cut in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, slashing them to a new record-low of 0.25 per cent.

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Property buyers were still keen to get out and about on the weekend despite coronavirus spread fears, although real estate agents were noticeably putting away their handshakes to limit possible spread.

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