Sydney a ‘buyer’s market’ as property asking prices fall during COVID-19

Economists are increasingly calling Sydney a buyer’s market as key suburbs in the city suffer a fall in asking prices due to conditions created by COVID-19. Data compiled exclusively for Nine News by My Housing Market found suburbs in the Canterbury-Bankstown area, Sydney’s north west and south have all had significant falls in asking prices and a rise in the number of homes for sale. In Canterbury-Bankstown the median asking price has fallen 5.2 percent in the past month to $970,000 and listings have risen by 4.5 percent.

Greenacre offers buyers the most choice right now, followed by Revesby, Bankstown, and Padstow. In Sydney’s northwest, the median asking price is down 6.5 percent and listings are up 8.6 percent. The suburbs with the highest listings are Baulkham Hills followed by Carlingford, Castle Hill, and West Pennant Hills.

My Housing Market chief economist Dr Andrew Wilson says current market conditions are similar to those experienced a year ago when buyers and sellers were largely dormant over fears of a sharp and sustained crash in home prices.

“With last years’ experience as a guide, these conditions are likely to change sooner rather than later when coronavirus restrictions are lifted and the economy revives, hopefully, sooner rather than later,” said Dr Wilson. There are currently a number of restrictions on agents offering properties for sale. Three weeks ago the Federal Government banned auctions and open inspections, restricting agents to scheduling private appointments with interested buyers. As a result, listings have fallen hard: According to CoreLogic data real estate agent reports have fallen almost 20 percent while listing volumes have bottomed out at minus 26.3 percent.

“With plunging property volumes across listings, and less activity from real estate agents and valuers, there is likely to be a severe drop in the number of properties being transacted over the coming weeks and months; at least until social distancing policies are lifted and sentiment levels return to more normal levels as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 slump,” writes Eliza Owen, Head of Research at CoreLogic.”But less listing activity also speaks to the moderation of supply against less demand for property.”This is one reason that property values are unlikely to fall as quickly, or the same extent, as transaction volumes.”