Biggest impacts

According to a new release by the ABS, half (54%) of the Australian population think that things will return back to normal within six months.  The result was 51% in Victoria.  Only one in ten (11%) think that things will never return to what they were like before COVID19.

As that survey was a few weeks back, I wonder if we are that optimistic now.

Another survey, this one an established and, for mine, a more trusted poll shows that most of us think that the economy will remain in a poor state for the next 12 months.  Yet this ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence sampling suggests that very few think things will remain economically constrained in five years’ time.

So, things look very rough now, but most still believe conditions will improve in the future.  I too think this shall pass.  But when, and under what conditions, have always been important questions.

But for now, it remains hard, especially if you live in Victoria.  I have had to endure a travel related 14-day lockdown over the last two weeks.  It wasn’t a bed of roses.  But it’s all thorns if you have to ensure six-plus weeks of hard isolation.

In my recent Master Class I outlined the issues that experienced property industry practitioners anticipate will have the biggest impacts on the housing market over the next 12 months.  It started quite a debate.

This quarterly survey of 370 individuals by NAB allows for multiple responses and their June quarter poll found:

  • 80% believe that rising unemployment and job uncertainty will have the biggest short-term impact on the housing market, followed by
  • 76% said lower consumer confidence,
  • 60% difficulty in buyers (and developers) getting finance,
  • 60% the end (and tampering off) of JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments,
  • 48% lower migration,
  • 20% increased supply of rental as short-term rentals enter the long-term market,
  • 19% increased demand for regional living including lifestyle, sea change and tree change choices,
  • 18% downward pressure on construction activity from lower demand, and
  • 17% reduced demand for apartments and inner city dwelling due to increased working from home.

It is interesting what the housing industry thinks will have the most impact and which issues they consider to be less serious.

I would have placed ‘difficulties accessing finance’, ‘lower migration’ and ‘downward pressure on construction activity’ higher up my list.

And whilst I do think this impact will be a relatively short-term one in terms of its current volumes – and more concentrated on older households over the medium to long-term – many ‘lifestyle’ regions, aren’t ready for the influx and its potential impact.

In these lifestyle locations properties are currently selling within weeks, many via video inspections and almost all are being bought by eastern seaboard capital city buyers.

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