Each capital city recorded an increase in home values, except Melbourne, which saw a 0.2% decline over the month. 

Despite the decline, the downward trend in the Victorian capital has been easing since mid-September, with the 0.2% decline the smallest month on month drop since the COVID-induced downturn. 

With private inspections now permitted, new property listings have surged and clearance rates have listed, with CoreLogic predicting house prices in Melbourne will soon recover. 

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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. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. 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 . View disclaimer.

CoreLogic’s Head of Research Tim Lawless said the October results show a stark contrast between house and unit market performance. 

“The rise in capital city housing values over the month was entirely attributable to a 0.4% lift in house values which offset the 0.2% fall in unit values," Mr Lawless said.

"Through the COVID period so far, unit values have actually shown a smaller decline in values than houses, but this is likely to change.”

“Almost two-thirds of Australian units are rented, and rental conditions have weakened, especially in the key inner-city precincts of Melbourne and Sydney."

Change in dwelling values as at October 31, 2020




Median value









































Combined capitals





Combined regional










Source: CoreLogic

Mr Lawless said unit markets were suffering as a result of little to no overseas migration, low levels of investment, and high stock levels. 

Regional markets continued to outperform the capitals, even withstanding much of the COVID-related downturn. 

In the seven months since March, regional dwelling values are up 1.7%, while values across the capitals have fallen by 2.3%. 

“The newfound popularity of working from home is only one factor helping to support regional home prices," Mr Lawless said.

"More affordable price points, lower densities and lifestyle factors, are also under-pinning the relative strength across many regional areas of the country.”

Mr Lawless added the lift in home values coincided with a range of other improved indicators in recent months. 

“Consumer confidence has consistently improved since the virus curve has once again flattened and Australians respond positively to measures announced in the federal budget," he said. 

"In October we saw an 11.9% surge in the Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index, rising clearance rates and an increase in valuation for purchase orders.

"Alongside this we are seeing persistently low advertised stock, which has supported price growth.“

Despite a surge in new listing numbers, total advertised stock remains close to record lows, with new listings increasing by 25.2% but total stock levels growing by less than 1%. 

House rents and unit rents diverge 

The pandemic period has seen a substantial divergence between house and unit rents. 

Between March and October, capital city unit rents were down a cumulative 4.8%, while houses recorded a 0.4% rise in rents.

This divergence continued through October with the monthly data showing a 0.7% drop in capital city unit rents while house rents are up 0.5%.

The difference between house and unit rental performance was most significant in Melbourne and Sydney where, since March, unit rents are down 6.6% and 5.8% respectively while house rents have seen a more mild reduction of around 1%.

Mr Lawless said the divergence could be attributed to a combination of supply and demand factors. 

“Both cities have a multiyear history of significant supply additions to the high-rise unit sector where the large majority of properties are owned by investors," he said.

"From a demand side, the evaporation of overseas migrants, including foreign students, has led to a sudden and material drop in the number of renters requiring accommodation.

"Additionally, weaker labour market conditions across industries where workers are more likely to rent than in any other sector have further impacted rental demand.”

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