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Should you Buy a Property During a Pandemic?

We are sure that buyers will keep buying and sellers will keep selling in the weeks ahead, as the economic impact of the coronavirus works its way through.

This despite economists being divided on whether the slashed Official Cash Rate to the new record low per cent will mean banks keep lending and borrowers keep borrowing,

“There are really low interest rates, people are not under pressure to sell, we won’t see a sudden big drop in house prices,”.

“Property investors now have cash flow positive properties, so there’s no pressure on cash flow. Most households have dual incomes, so if one person loses their job, low interest rates mean it’ll be easier servicing the loan.”

Bolton points out that many people in the at-risk sectors such as tourism, hospitality or retail were not high, so a spike in unemployment rates probably won’t affect rates of home ownership.

While he doesn’t expect people with term deposits in banks to switch to investing in property, nor does he see property investors quitting the market while their yields are so good. 

“There’s no urgency, so that will keep house prices up,”. adding that while the spread of the Covid-19 virus might be short term, economic effects will linger.

while it is too early to understand the full extent of the impact of Covid-19, Does expect people to take a wait and see approach to the housing market.

“As a general rule, house prices tend to either hold or have a slight dip and volumes tend to fall,”. adding that during the Global Financial Crisis, while prices at first fell nearly 6 per cent, they were rising some months before the end of the recession.

“This highlights that the market did recover reasonably quickly,”

The reality is that people always need to buy and sell houses – people might be moving for a new job or upsizing for family reasons, so we don’t expect the market to come to a complete stop.

“This time the use of technology may have a significant part to play in how the housing market can try and continue in a ‘normal’ fashion.”

Most commentators acknowledged the rapidly changing situation, expecting that revelations from the Reserve Bank later on regulatory measures that can be deferred, like the bank capital requirements, will ensure credit continues to flow.

“The reality is that there are plenty of people who want to buy houses because interest rates are so low. It’s better than renting, affordability has never been better,”

“People have to decide whether to be intimidated by the headlines, people are attracted to the fear and rage of experts with predictions. It’s not doom and gloom, if we stand back and look at the big picture, the long term. And the big picture is that interest rates are at a record low.”

“Houses are on a continual climb, so take a high level view, and not be driven by fear mongering.”

Thom says that most home buyers are in for the long term, five or 10 years or longer, so owners will hold on “through good times and bad.”

Investors will pick up their buying

Any time is a good time” to buy, but if banks improve the serviceability of loans or drop loan-to-value ratios, then buyers, herself included, will be out looking.

“Good real estate will still be in demand. People are just getting on with it.”

“In a short term we have a virus, in a few months it will be gone and people around the world will be thinking 'Next time it happens, where is the best place to be? An island in the Pacific with no neighbours.’ And we are it.”

People forced to spend a more in their house while self-isolating, or not travelling now, might be prompted to look at bigger living environments.

He also urges against a mindset of “sit and wait”, as once the virus slows down buyers will be competing against many other waiting .

“Those who are sitting on the fence and waiting to buy will be in a catch-up mode and we will get a buying frenzy, I imagine,”

"Real Estate Cannot Be Lost Or Stolen, Nor Can It Be Carried Away. It Is The Safest Investment In The World."

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