Westpac soften house price forecast, now predict five per cent peak to trough declines

Westpac soften house price forecast, now predict five per cent peak to trough declines
Westpac soften house price forecast, now predict five per cent peak to trough declines

Westpac are the latest bank to soften their house price decline forecast amid a resilient real estate market over COVID-19.

They had been predicting a 10 per cent fall in prices nationally from The peak in April to June 2021, with increase of around four per cent per annum over the following two years.

They expected Melbourne to be hit the worst, down -12 per cent, Sydney back -10 per cent and Brisbane and Adelaide -8 per cent.

But now, with real estate seemingly weathering the COVID-19 storm, Westpac forecast just five per cent declines between April and June next year.

There have already been -2.3 per cent declines nationally, according to CoreLogic's data.

No better news for locked-down Melbourne, whose prices are still predicted to be down -12 per cent. 

To enlarge, click here.

Westpac soften house price forecast, now predict five per cent peak to trough declines
Source: Westpac

But now they see Sydney contract in line with the national decline of -5 per cent, Brisbane back -2 per cent and Adelaide now to actually see two per cent gains.

Hassan and Evans say they have changed their view based on two reasons; a more substantial boost from lower interest rates, especially low fixed rates, and a milder than expected recession.

"Westpac recently revised up its growth forecasts for the second half of 2020, from 2.8% to 4%. The new outlook reflects a view that NSW (+5%), QLD, (+5%), SA (+5%) and WA (+7%) would rebound strongly from the collapse (–7%) in the June quarter based on their milder and briefer COVID disruptions," Hassan and Evans note.

To enlarge, click here.

Westpac soften house price forecast, now predict five per cent peak to trough declines

Source: Westpac

They even suggest the economic impact Victoria’s ‘second wave’ lockdown also "appears to be less severe than expected."

They said they see the house price profile unfolding in four distinct stages, with the first stage largely passed.

That was the initial impact on prices from the collapse in economic activity in the June quarter which saw -4.6 per cent declines in Melbourne, -2.6 per cent in Sydney and Perth, -0.9 per cent in Brisbane and -0.1 per cent in Adelaide.

"However, the pace of deterioration outside of Melbourne has been milder than we expected back in March", Hassan and Evans write.

"The second stage, which will cover the December and March quarters, will be a period of relatively stable prices, possibly with some modest increases, although Melbourne will be at least one quarter behind the other states and will still be experiencing falls in prices in the December quarter.

"The third stage will see some limited resumption of downward pressure on prices through 2021, as we see an increase in ‘urgent’ or distressed sales relating to borrowers struggling or unable to resume mortgage repayments.

"Again, more adjustment is likely in Melbourne than the other cities.

"The fourth phase will come once this selling pressure has worked through the system and prices lift again."

They say the recovery will be supported by sustained low rates, which Hassan and Evans suggest are likely to be even lower than current levels, as well as ongoing support from regulators, substantially improved affordability, sustained fiscal support from both federal and state governments and a strengthening economic recovery.

Hassan and Evans even expect a vaccine for COVID-19 to become available in 2021.

 

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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Westpac Property Forecast

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