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Buying a home

Queensland and Brisbane property trends in a COVID-19 impacted market

28 April 2020

Property Price Trends and Sentiment Report: March 2020

The latest CoreLogic Home Value Index for March1 showed modest price growth across both Brisbane and Queensland. According to the report, home values in Brisbane increased by 1.6% over the March quarter and 0.6% over March. In March, median home value in Brisbane peaked at $506,552.

The index also took a look at annual price growth. Queensland areas that performed well over the 12-month period included the Mackay-Whitsunday region, posting annual growth of +6.3%, the Sunshine Coast at +5.1% and the Gold Coast at +4.8%.

While overall the numbers indicate strong performance in March, it’s important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t strongly impact the the housing market until midway through March, when CoreLogic noted a significant slowdown.

Consumer sentiment remains positive, but it’s dropping fast

OpenAgent, an agent comparison website, surveys thousands of respondents every quarter to capture the market perspectives of sellers and buyers across the country.2

Looking at Queensland as a whole, the 2020 Q1 sentiment began at +4.5 in January, dropped to +4 in February and ended on +3.4 in March.

According to OpenAgent Data Analyst Carson Teh, “this is the lowest sentiment Queensland has recorded since the bounce back we saw after the federal election last year.”

From December 2019 to March 2020, the proportion of Queenslanders who believed prices would decrease rose from 6.76% to 13.46%. “In December last year our index showed that 74% of Queenslanders believed property prices would go up, and in March 2020, this number finished at 60%,” said Mr Teh.

In Brisbane, consumer sentiment rose from +4.7 in January to +4.9 in February. By the end of March, sentiment had dropped to +3.3. Brisbane’s 1.6 point drop in March exceeded that of the other capital cities in the survey; Melbourne and Sydney dropped 1.3 and 1.2 points respectively.

What does this mean for you?

While overall sentiment in Queensland and Brisbane currently remains positive, it’s expected to fall sharply.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 on the housing market are likely to remain unclear until we have a better understanding of how well we can contain the pandemic while also protecting businesses and jobs.

"Arguably, the longer it takes to contain the virus and bring economic operations back to normal, the higher the downside risk to housing values," according to CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Tim Lawless.

For those looking to sell, the good news is that transactions are still happening. According to Mr Teh, “What we’re seeing is that people are still transacting. So for those who need to sell, it’s still possible.”

He added, “We’ve been impressed by how quickly agents have adapted to the market by moving a lot of their processes online, including virtual inspections and auctions.

“Everything is subject to change, so if you need to sell, it’s more important than ever to find an agent who is leveraging technology and knows how to get you a great result in this climate,” Mr Teh said.

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This article has been prepared by Open Agent. Learn more about the Open Agent Consumer Sentiment Index.

1Source: (PDF, 1Mb)

2Methodology: To build the Consumer Sentiment Index, we ask our vendors the following question: Where do you expect home prices to be in your area in six months' time? Vendors then rank their answer on a 5 tier scale, ranging from Strongly Up, Slightly Up, About The Same, Slightly Down and Strongly Down.This information is then collated to provide the basis for our proprietary index system. The index gives a measure of vendors' expectations for home price movement on a scale of -10 to +10, with a reading of 0 being a neutral view of the market.

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