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New data suggests Australians are ready to return to normal after Coronavirus - featured image
By Michael Yardney

New data suggests Australians are ready to return to normal after Coronavirus

Are you over it?

Have you had had enough of Coronavirus and ready to get on with your life? Coronavirus – How Will It Impact Australia’s Property Markets

According to research by ANZ Bank, the internet searching behaviour of Australians suggests that the fear of and interest in COVID-19 has subsided considerably.

Here's what a recent ANZ report by economists, Hayden Dimes and David Plank had to say....

During the peak in infections, there was a lot of searching for symptoms of the virus, like “sore throat” and “fever”.

Compared to recent history, the volume of searching for such terms far exceeded normal, even for winter, leading ANZ to believe the rise was driven by COVID-19 concerns.

The fear of COVID-19 looks to have passed in Australia

Internet searches

As this search intensity has returned to normal, ANZ think people are worrying less; and Australia’s success in containing the pandemic is likely to be part of this.

Consistent with this, searching for “coronavirus” is well off its highs, and Australians are now more interested in weather forecasts.

Weather is now receiving more searches than the coronavirusANZ chart

Restrictions easing

With the spread of COVID-19 in Australia under control for now, states have continued to ease restrictions.

So far, this has not led to a spike in new cases, despite several indicators suggesting people have been moving about more over the last fortnight.

Australians continue to head out


Melbourne CBD foot traffic continues to rise

The pick-up in mobility has been broad based, with even the most restrictive state, Victoria, showing a rise in Melbourne CBD foot traffic.

Melbourne foot traffic

The lift in weekend foot traffic has been even sharper


A willingness to go back to normal is also starting to show elsewhere.

People are heading back to restaurants

Restaurants are now allowed in-house dining, and people are taking that opportunity.

From being down 100% y/y through the lockdown, restaurant bookings are now down around 90% y/y

This headline lift doesn’t capture the total desire to head back to restaurants, however, because most states have had a 10-person per venue limit.

With states like NSW moving to a 50-person limit on 1 June, it will be interesting to see how diners react.


We’re getting ready to travel

With regional travel in most states either allowed or soon to be allowed, people are thinking about travelling.

Searching for “Melbourne hotels” and “Sydney hotels” lifted quickly in recent weeks

 Australians starting to look at domestic vacations


Airbnb is getting a lot more attention

It also looks like people are heading back to Airbnb, with searches up very sharply.


The sentiment is still a bit down, but improving

Sentiment has stabilised in the past two weeks.

Combining searches for terms like ‘recession’ and ‘unemployment’ into a single index suggests that sentiment is well off the lows and continues to improve (Figure 9).

This is consistent with ANZ’s consumer confidence rating.


Searching for unemployment benefits is back to normal

Another positive is that searches for “unemployment benefits” have effectively returned to pre-crisis levels.


Source: ANZ Economic Insight by economists, Hayden Dimes and David Plank. 

This does not constitute personal advice, it does not consider your objectives or circumstance. The original document was intended for ANZ institutional, markets and private banking clients.

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

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About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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