House price falls accelerate in Melbourne as state faces COVID lockdowns

author-avatar By 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
Advertised rate Comparison rate Monthly repayment Rate TypeOffsetRedrawOngoing FeeUpfront FeesLVRLump Sum RepaymentAdditional RepaymentsPre-approval

VariableMore details
LIMITED TIME 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%
LIMITED TIME 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%
VariableMore details
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
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
VariableMore details
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • Refinance only. Fast online application
  • No Nano fees. Free 100% offset sub account
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card & instant payments
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • Refinance only. Fast online application
  • No Nano fees. Free 100% offset sub account
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card & instant payments
VariableMore details
YOU COULD WIN $100k TO PAY DOWN YOUR LOAN*

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • For a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & be approved by Dec 15
  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
YOU COULD WIN $100k TO PAY DOWN YOUR LOAN*

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • For a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & be approved by Dec 15
  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
VariableMore details
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^

Rates correct as of October 26, 2021. 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 which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

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.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

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author-avatar
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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