Western Australia’s property market is holding its own, seemingly unperturbed by the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the country.
Amid the unprecedented impacts of coronavirus, Perth agents say it’s yet to impact the local housing market, with an influx of sales including a Dalkeith mansion that sold for $14 million last week.
realestate.com.au’s chief economist, Nerida Conisbee says despite the community unease and precarious economic conditions, the Australian property market has experienced little impact from the global pandemic.
“Right now, the Australian property market is taking COVID-19 in its stride,” Conisbee says.
“Search activity on realestate.com.au is still well up on last year. We may be experiencing some of the toughest economic conditions for some time but for property it is still better than what was happening last March when buyers and sellers were showing strong concern about the Federal election result and the fallout from the Royal Commission.
“While the outlook is still extremely uncertain, there continues to be high levels of economic stimulus in Australia and around the world.
“Ideally this will help cushion any economic challenges we have over coming months. Once concerns about COVID-19 abate and productivity returns to the Australian economy, this stimulus will help drive property demand.”
Agents have also noticed little impact so far. Jody Fewster, from Ray White Cottesloe-Mosman Park, says uncertainty around COVID-19 has not deterred buyers at the top end of the market.
Last week, she sold the stunning home of former racehorse trainer David O’Brien at 140 Victoria Avenue, Dalkeith for a staggering $14 million. The property was due to be auctioned this weekend.
“Confidence is high in the Perth prestige market. I had five written offers for my owners, and the final sale price of $14 million is the highest sale price in Dalkeith in the last nine years,” Fewster says.
Fewster says the property was under offer after seven weeks into the eight-week marketing campaign, which was advertised across Australia and overseas. In this time, 15 groups inspected the home.
“The house is now unconditional and a local family will soon move in as they love the area and fell in love with the house,” she says.
Real estate agent Lily Chong, from IQI Western Australia, says interest from foreign buyers is also high, with investors from China and Hong Kong remotely making purchases in Perth and actively seeking more stock.
“I have a buyer from China who cannot travel here but is still purchasing,” says Chong who made the transaction for the sale of a $1 million East Perth apartment by email.
“As soon as Australia lifts the travel restrictions on Chinese, she will be able to fly in and inspect the property. After that, we can settle. She has confidence in WA.
“Until recently, we never actively sold to China. But through the Juwai.com platform, where we started advertising three weeks ago, I have received five Chinese buyer enquiries. We have posted 26 properties on Juwai.com and already received enquiries.
“Last week, an agent in Hong Kong told me he wanted to begin selling Perth property because he can no longer travel to mainland China because of coronavirus. Another big company in Hong Kong also came to us last week to sell Perth property. They want to sell our stock through their network to Hong Kong buyers.”
Ray White Dalkeith-Claremont Principal Vivien Yap says inquiries from investors in China and Hong Kong were strong, despite the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
“We are getting a lot more calls,” Yap says. “We’re getting a lot of calls from people who are hunting asking ‘what else do you have, what else do you have?’, which is great.”
“The interest is certainly there, despite all the unease and uncertainty.”
Consibee says WA is in prime position for a speedier recovery thanks to its reliance on mining.
“For Western Australia, one piece of positive news right now is that China is getting back to business,” she says.
“Iron ore is projected to be Australia’s first commodity to top $100 billion of export earnings in a single year off the back of this.
“With WA’s economy so dependent on mining, this is already great news for property and will put Perth and many regional areas in a great position once a recovery begins.”