RBA Emergency Rate Cut
- During RBA’s emergency meeting held on 19 March 2020, decided to apply another interest rate cut of 25 basis to a new record low of 0.25%, providing two interest cuts in less than 3 weeks.
- RBA will buy Australian government bonds as part of its first-ever quantitative easing program, which has not been used before even during 2008 GFC and 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- RBA will provide $90 billion at 0.25% over three years to banks if they lend the money to small and medium-sized businesses.
- Just before the RBA’s announcement, the Australian dollar was at 55.08 US cents and below ¥4 CNY, the lowest level since October 2002.
- Additional stimulus packages were also announced by the federal and state governments in last few days.
- Also those measures were aim to provide extra support to Australian economy to pass through this COVID-19 crisis.
- Today on 20 March 2020, the Australian dollar came back to 59 US cents and above ¥4.10 CNY.
COVID-19 Impact on Property Market
- There is no doubt that it is a national crisis due to COVID-19 virus. To overcome this crisis, it may take another 3 to 6 months.
- Though previous predication on unemployment rate provided a positive figure of less than 5.5% by the end of this month. However with the impact of COVID-19, the recent predicts show a possible of 7-12% unemployment nationally in next 6 months, with the worst scenario of more than half a million people will lose their jobs.
- Though government and banks provided supports to financially support small and medium-sized businesses and household families, the fears of job lost and extra expenses on households will push some property buyers away, at least temporarily, from the current still up-trending property market.
- The number of people attending open-for-inspections and auctions dropped down and the auction clearances started to feel downward pressure last weekend.
Property Market Overview in Next 6 months
- We believe that the whole property market will stay at a relatively low activity level during the COVID-19 crisis period.
- The price will lose the up trending momentum and may experience minor or mild drop, as buyers steer away from the market as well as vendors decide to postpone the listing of their properties.
- The lowest Australia Dollar since October 2002 gives positive effect on property market, but given the current situation, very limited. It may help prevent the market fully back into down trend, but has less momentum to push the price up on the other side.
- With the COVID-19 becoming a global crisis, in both health and financial sectors, most investors will become more conservative on following investing activities.
- The plunges of global stock markets also put investors with less bullets they can use on property market.
- Low dollar value will help on education sector, attracting more overseas students who may rent or buy properties. However current travel ban and potential shutdown of schools and colleges will put a break on their property investing plans.
- When COVID-19 crisis is over, hopefully before next Spring:
- If only minimum increase on unemployment rate which means most people hold their jobs and incomes, the market will come back to the up trend. With government first home buyer stimulus, the market continues with more first home buyers jumping in.
- If unfortunately significant portion of employees lost their jobs during this time, the low- and medium-range market will experience a hard time at least by the end of next financial year.
- High end market normally has minimal connection with unemployment rate. However recent catastrophic plunges happened across all major stock markets globally and damage put on global business and tradings, will all affect how much money those high-end property buyers can use in their purchases.
- High end property market will be on a case-by-case basis. But still the activity level will be no comparison with what it has before COVID-19 burst.
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