Few distressed sales – home owners are weathering the storm

Despite predictions of property prices tumbling because of distressed sales, recent data from Domain shows that most capital cities around the country have seen only very marginal increases in distressed listings, while in Canberra and Brisbane the number of distressed listings has actually fallen.

The property pessimists are suggesting that many first homebuyers and investors have over committed themselves financially and will have to set up their properties, creating a domino effect of falling property values. Property Market

However JobKeeper and JobSeeker have minimised many Australian’s financial hardship.

At the same time banks are not keen to force people to sell up their home, offering them payment holidays to get through these difficult times.

And the banks have been helped by the RBA introducing a three year funding facility for banks of up to $90 billion with a concessional interest rate of 0.25%.

At the same time the RBA has extended facilities to banks to help find business loans

In other words the RBA is supporting and protecting our banks as is APRA who have also adopted a series of measures to compliment easier lending conditions amid COVID-19.

It’s important to remember that even in very good economic times there will always be a percentage of borrowers in mortgage arrears and others who are in what some would call mortgage distress – not that there is a firm definition of what this term means – yet they don’t sell up their homes.

To try and identify urgent sales Domain filtered listings of properties for sale looking for descriptions that included but were not limited to: reduced price, mortgage in possession, urgent sale, motivated vendor, or reduced price, between February and mid-May.

Here’s what they found:

Urgent sales

Capital Feb Mid-May
Sydney 1.4% 1.6%
Melbourne 0.5% 0.5%
Brisbane 3.0% 2.9%
Perth 2.3% 2.4%
Adelaide 0.9% 1.1%
Canberra 0.7% 0.6%
Darwin 2.8% 2.8%
Hobart 0.7% 1.0%
Source: Domain
While distressed sales levels remained very low overall, it was tourist regions in Queensland and resource-driven state economies such as Western Australia that were showing to be the hardest hit so far.

“It’s all those holiday regions that have gone into distressed selling,” said Domain’s senior research analyst Dr. Nicola Powell.

Distressed listings on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast rose 0.6 percentage points to 3.4 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.

An uptick in property listings identified as distressed or urgent in several regional locations could be an early sign homeowners there are coming under financial pressure as a consequence of COVID-19.

Among the areas were Port Stephens, on the NSW coast, where the proportion of urgent sale listings grew from 1.5 percent to 3.4 percent and Perth Hills in Western Australia

Nevertheless, Dr. Powell said it was still early days for the economic impact of COVID-19 to play out in the property market but the fact the increases in urgent or distressed listings were still modest across the capital cities was a positive sign.

Forced Sales

The fallout will vary

The impact of COVID-19 on household financial stress and in turn on property values will vary from region to region depending on the level of exposure to industries hardest hit by the virus.

And it has already shown up in the rental markets which are struggling in some areas. Hand Drawing A Graph About Real Estate Market Concept Image
For instance, high-density sections of Melbourne, like Docklands, and in Sydney, such as the CBD and Ultimo, where two-thirds of properties are rentals, have seen vacancy rates triple.
In general these are areas where international students and young people typically working in retail and hospitality live.
These two groups have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

At the same time many investors who were trying to get a higher return by leasing their properties out on Airbnb have put their properties onto the general rental market.

According to data website AirDNA, which tracks Airbnb listings, the number of active short-stay holiday rentals in Australia fell from 202,000 in early February to 164,000 by the end of April.

New bookings fell from 78,000 to 27,000 over the same period.

Now is the time to take action and set yourself for the opportunities that will present themselves as the market moves on

If you’re wondering what will happen to property in 2020–2021 you are not alone.

You can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance and results.

In challenging times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that’s what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.

If you’re looking at buying your next home or investment property here’s 4 ways we can help you:

  1. Strategic property advice. – Allow us to build a Strategic Property Plan for you and your family.  Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now!  This will give you direction, results and more certainty. Click here to learn more Metropole Team
  2. Buyer’s agency – As Australia’s most trusted buyers’ agents we’ve been involved in over $3Billion worth of transactions creating wealth for our clients and we can do the same for you. Our on the ground teams in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane bring you years of experience and perspective – that’s something money just can’t buy. We’ll help you find your next home or an investment grade property.  Click here to learn how we can help you.
  3. Wealth Advisory – We can provide you with strategic tailored financial planning and wealth advice. Click here to learn more about we can help you.
  4. Property Management – Our stress free property management services help you maximise your property returns. Click here to find out why our clients enjoy a vacancy rate considerably below the market average, our tenants stay an average of 3 years and our properties lease 10 days faster than the market average.

NOW READ:

The coronavirus means nobody is searching for houses

Coronavirus crisis: I have no idea what will happen to property prices!

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Kate Forbes

About

Kate Forbes is a National Director Property Strategy at Metropole. She has 15 years of investment experience in financial markets in two continents, is qualified in multiple disciplines and is also a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Visit www.MelbourneBuyersAgent.com.au


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