7 housing and mortgage trends since the pandemic ended

Image: Housing costs
Getty Image: Housing

Reading the property and home loan market can be difficult without considering what’s already happened.

Below we list 7 trends to note since the pandemic ended, a helpful guide as you step forth into the world of homebuying, from CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless. 

1. Housing values have spiked since the onset of COVID 

Home values surged 32.5% between March 2020 and February 2024, adding approximately $188,000 to the median value of an Australian home, as per Corelogic’s home value index. (It goes without saying that home loan amounts climbed too).

Peaks and troughs followed. But as housing inventory dried up and migration boomed, housing values started a new growth cycle in February 2023, rising 9.5% through to the end of February this year.

2. Rental markets have tightened with vacancy rates holding at 1% and rental growth surging

Nationwide rents have jumped 32% since March 2020, adding approximately $150 per week to the median dwelling rent.

3. Monetary policy helped stimulate housing demand, but also quelled activity with interest rates rises

A record portion of borrowers took advantage of fixed mortgage rates falling below 2% through the middle of 2022, fueling speculation of a ‘fixed rate cliff’ as the wave of fixed rate home loans expired.  

So far borrowers have navigated higher mortgage rates much better than expected with repayment arrears holding below pre-pandemic levels.

4. Inflation surged on the back of fiscal stimulus, low interest rates and global supply chain issues

As pandemic restrictions eased, global demand strengthened. Inflation is now beating forecasts, fueling speculation we could see rate cuts later this year.

5. Once lockdowns and social distancing eased, labour markets tightened

Although labour markets are now loosening, RBA forecasts have the unemployment rate holding below 4.5% through to at least mid-2026.

6. Demographic factors have influenced housing trends 

Housing demand remained strong through the pandemic despite closed borders. Internal migration trends favoured regional markets through the pandemic but have since normalised.

Overseas migration spiked to record highs.

7. Despite unprecedented housing demand, a supply response is yet to be seen

New builds have been flat through the pandemic to now, with supply chain constraints, materials and labour shortages, and a surge in construction costs creating a challenging environment for new housing supply.

If you're ready to get into the property market, you'll want to start with some home loan research. Start by comparing some of the top home loan rates available below.

*Note: This article was adapted from Corelogic's original list and some commentary was shortened.

Compare top home loans - last updated 23 May 2024

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