REA chief economist Nerida Conisbee

Australian real estate fire sales increasingly unlikely, say experts

PHOTO: REA chief economist Nerida Conisbee / Source: News Regional Media

Much-hyped real estate fire sales due to the economic destruction wrought by COVID-19 are becoming increasingly unlikely for the Sydney suburbs, inner city and CBD.

The Commonwealth Bank’s pledge earlier this week not to force the sale of homes owned by customers affected by the pandemic is another blow to forecasters who predicted dramatic prices falls due to COVID-19 and to those hoping to snap up a bargain.

As buyer demand holds firm in both residential and commercial markets, the big four banks are standing by their customers.

ANZ, Westpac and NAB have not made similar statements to CBA outlining extended home loan holidays, however spokespeople for each lender said that they will continue to work with customers on a case-by-case scenario — suggesting they too would shield pandemic-affected borrowers.

When COVID-19 arrived, economic commentators warned of a “fiscal cliff” when mortgage deferrals – and government stimulus packages such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker – were to finish in September. However, this lender leniency and government aide has now been stretched until early 2021.

Chief economist at, Nerida Conisbee, said the withdrawal of support had been far slower than originally expected.