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House Prices Rise In March

Australian house prices continued to rise in March, shrugging off the initial impacts of the virus crisis on real estate.

New price data published this week by two key research sources reveal that house prices rose in capital cities and in regional markets during the month, despite government restrictions on auctions and open inspections.

Figures from CoreLogic, the most quoted source of property data, show that every capital city and all regional jurisdictions except the Northern Territory recorded rises in house values during March. There was a similar result for house prices in the latest quarter.

Nationally, house prices increased 0.7% and apartments prices 0.6% in March, according to the CoreLogic data.

SQM Research, one of the best and most credible sources of residential real estate data in Australia, published its weekly report on prices and rents in the eight capital cities this week.

The SQM Research Housing Indexes records price and rent changes weekly, monthly and in annual terms.

Given the recent onset of the virus crisis and the increasing shutdown of normal life in Australia, including with real estate processes like open inspections and auctions, the most interesting and pertinent figures are the weekly and monthly ones.

And these figures don’t show any major negative reaction to the situation in pricing levels, according to SQM.

Looking at the monthly changes, there have actually been meaningful rises for houses in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart – and no change in Brisbane.

The only city to record a decline in the past month is Adelaide.

Nationally, in monthly terms, the capital city averages were a 0.7% rise for houses and a 0.6% rise for apartments – exactly the same result reported by CoreLogic.

So far, there’s not much evidence of a major outcome for prices. But, in terms of the virus crisis and its potential impacts on real estate, it’s still early. And real estate markets do take time to react, in terms of prices, to a change in circumstances.

We will await further evidence – and a month from now, both these sources will be publishing data that shows what happened in April and it may show something different.

But, for now, the data shows no negative impact from the virus crisis.


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