Corelogic National Housing Market Update [video] | August 2020

Corelogic National Housing Market Update [video] | August 2020

Last month we saw Australian housing values rack up a third consecutive month of declines, with CoreLogic’s home value index dropping by 0.6% over the month.

This was a slight improvement from June when the national series was down by 0.7%.

Across the capital cities, only Canberra which was up 0.6% and Adelaide at 0.1% posted a rise in dwelling values over the month, while in Melbourne which was down -1.2% Sydney down -0.9% led the declines, recording the largest month-on-month falls in July.


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Regional markets are generally showing more resilience to falling values.

Across the combined regional areas, housing values were unchanged in July compared with a 0.8% fall across the combined capital cities.

Regional Victoria, where values were down by half a percent, and regional WA, which was down 3.2%, were only non-capital city markets to record a fall in values over the month.

The impact from COVID-19 on housing values has been relatively orderly to-date, with CoreLogic’s national index falling only 1.6% since the recent high in April and housing turnover has recovered quickly after it’s sharp fall through late March and April.

Record low-interest rates, government support and loan repayment holidays for distressed borrowers have helped to insulate the housing market from a more significant downturn.

Additionally, advertised supply levels have remained tight, with the total number of properties for sale falling by a further 4.3% in the 4 weeks to July 27th, sitting 15% below where they were this time last year.

Additionally, increased demand driven by housing specific incentives from both federal and state governments, especially for first home buyers, have become more substantial.

New listing numbers continued to rise through the month, up 46% from the recent lows of early May, to be slightly higher than a year ago.

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The rise in fresh listings implies that homeowners have become more willing to test the market.

While new listings are ramping up, the total listing count remains 15% below last year’s level nationally and 12.5% lower across the combined capitals.

Q3

The diverging trend between new and total listing numbers implies a strong rate of absorption where the demand for established housing stock is outweighing the advertised supply.

In line with the strong rate of absorption, sales activity has trended higher since May.

Q4

After home sales plunged by about a third in April, sales activity has consistently improved.

CoreLogic estimates for national sales over the past three months were tracking 2.9% higher than in the same period in 2019.

Q5

The rebound in Corelogic estimates of sales activity is validated by the strong rate of listings absorption, a similar lift in purchase-related valuations and improvements in consumer sentiment.

However, the recent slump in sentiment amidst a new wave of the virus could interrupt the rise of home sales until restrictions are lifted and confidence returns.

Q6

Additionally, auction markets showed a temporary recovery through June and early July but have since weakened as Melbourne moved back into lockdown.

Auction volumes have been tracking higher than a year ago since late June and auction clearance rates were hovering around the decade average of 61% since the second week of May.

Since early July, clearance rates have trended lower due to a substantial rise in withdrawn auctions across Melbourne.

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