Australian house prices fell for a fourth consecutive month in August as a slump in the Melbourne market — the center of a renewed Covid-19 outbreak — weighed heavily on the national picture and expected higher unemployment continues to cloud the outlook.
Property values in major cities dropped 0.5% last month, CoreLogic data released Tuesday showed. Prices in Melbourne slumped 1.2%, with the city’s 5 million residents having endured around two months of lockdown conditions to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Through the course of the pandemic, Melbourne has fallen 4.6%.
In Sydney and Brisbane, the rate of decline eased, while prices held up or improved in other major cities, reflecting the link between market performance and the severity of social distancing policies, according to Tim Lawless, head of research at CoreLogic. Sydney’s decline cooled to 0.5% from 0.9% in July.
“Looking forward we are likely to see a diverse outcome for housing markets around Australia,” Lawless said. Key will be “how well the virus is contained and the region’s exposure to other factors such as its reliance on overseas migration as a source of housing demand.”
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