House price falls accelerate in Melbourne as state faces COVID lockdowns

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on July 01, 2020
House price falls accelerate in Melbourne as state faces COVID lockdowns

Photo by Cindy Tang on Unsplash

National property prices have fallen for the second month in a row, led by Perth and Melbourne, as the state of Victoria faces a second wave of infections.

CoreLogic's monthly home value index showed a 0.7% drop in property prices nationally, marking the second consecutive month of falls after a 0.4% drop in May.

The biggest price falls were in Perth and Melbourne, where values dropped by 1.1%, while values fell 0.8% in Sydney, 0.4% in Brisbane, and Adelaide slipped by 0.2%.

But prices in the smaller capital cities of Hobart, Darwin and Canberra defied the downturn and recorded modest growth of 0.3%, 0.3% and 0.1% respectively.

However, property prices in Melbourne are falling the fastest out of all the capital cities. Over the last three months, prices have plunged 2.3%. 

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender

Variable
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UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER
  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
Variable
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100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS

Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest)

  • $5000 Cashback. T&Cs Apply.
Variable
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REFINANCE ONLY
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
REFINANCE ONLY

Variable Rate Home Loan – Refinance Only

  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
Variable
More details
NO ONGOING FEESFREE REDRAW FACILITY
  • Rate Match Guarantee. Tic:Toc will match the rate on identical variable P&I home loans. T&C's Apply.
NO ONGOING FEESFREE REDRAW FACILITY

Live-in Variable Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 90%)

  • Rate Match Guarantee. Tic:Toc will match the rate on identical variable P&I home loans. T&C's Apply.

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of June 29, 2022. View disclaimer.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said this is mostly being driven by the upper end of the market where values have fallen 3.7%, but acknowledged that the recent spike of infections in Victoria is concerning.

"The recent rise of active virus cases in Victoria are a reminder that the potential risk of a second wave remains a stark reality. If we see the virus curve steepening rather than flattening, a return to restrictive policies is highly likely," he said.

In a major blow to the real estate industry, public auctions and open for inspections have again been scrapped in Melbourne's coronavirus hotspots. 

Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) President Leah Calnan said the industry will have to revert back to inspections by appointment only and online auctions in Melbourne’s ten Covid-19 hotspots.

“Any return of restrictions is frustrating for all involved, but the real estate sector is prepared to do what’s required to help curb Covid-19,” Ms Calnan said.

Stage three government restrictions in the affected areas are expected to be in place until at least July 29. 

Teetering on the edge of a fiscal cliff

Mr Lawless said a variety of factors have helped to insulate property prices from more significant declines, including government stimulus measures and persistently low advertised stock levels. 

"Additionally, low interest rates and forbearance policies from lenders have helped to keep urgent sales off the market, providing further insulation to housing values."

But he warns that while the decline in prices nationally has been relatively mild since April, the longer term outlook remains uncertain.

“While it is encouraging to see lenders have recently hinted at an extension in their repayment leniency policies, the government stimulus will eventually taper and banks will require borrowers to repay their loans," Mr Lawless said.

"The longer term outlook for the housing market is largely dependent on how well the economy is tracking when these support measures are removed.

"Eventually the economy and borrowers will need to abide by market forces. This is when we could see a rise in mortgage arrears and the potential for a lift in urgent or forced sales."


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at Savings.com.au which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

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