SQM Research Weekly Newsletter
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SQM Research Residential Newsletter - 
Tuesday 2 June 2020
Property Explorer
Research Reports
Distressed Properties Report
Funds Research
Boom and Bust 2020 Report
Black Dragon's
Words for the Week

“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.” 

Howard Zinn

Real Estate Realities 

How Home Loan applicatoins have changed in Covid-19

The country’s four biggest banks have all tightened their lending criteria in response to the COVID-19-led downturn, making it harder for a range of Australians to apply for a home loan.

But home-buying hopefuls will also find it difficult to get home loans over the line compared with a year ago as a cocktail of COVID-19-led effects impact the application process, according to mortgage brokers.

This time last year, the property market recovered remarkably after the Morrison government’s election win cemented in place favourable tax settings for the housing sector, including capital gains tax and negative gearing.

It also coincided with APRA’s decision to relax lending restrictions, which allowed people to borrow money with more ease. 

But since COVID-19 shut down entire industries in Australia overnight in late March, causing millions of people to lose their jobs or have their incomes reduced, the way home loan applications are assessed has changed with it.

While all four of the country’s biggest banks have offered mortgage repayment holidays for their customers, all new home loan customers can expect more hurdles before getting an application over the line.



by Louis Christopher, CEO

Figures released today by SQM Research reveal national residential property listings increased in May by 3.9% from 292,775 listings in April 2020 to 304,137. Compared to 12 months ago, listings were down by 12.0%.

All capital cities experienced increases in property listings over the month except for Canberra which posted a marginal 0.8% decrease.

The largest listings increase was in Melbourne and Sydney at 11.6% and 10.9% increase, respectively.  Hobart also recorded a large increase of 7.8%.

Year-on-year listings show more significant declines for all capital cities with Perth recording a 20.0% decline, followed by Darwin with a 18.8% decline and Hobart a 15.8% decline this time last year.

Overall, there was a rise in listings at the national level, driven by older stock not selling. We have recorded a 12% increase in listings of over 60 days. This tells me it is a patchy market with vendors struggling to meet their pricing expectations. New listings actually fell for the month at the national level, which is abnormal for May. Though we have recorded rises in new listings for Sydney and Melbourne, other cities such as Brisbane, Adelaide and others recorded a decline in new stock. Many regional locations also recorded falls in new listings.

Asking Prices

Capital City average asking prices increased by 0.5% for houses and decreased 0.1% for units, over the month to 2nd June 2020. Unit asking prices are now at $573,300 and houses $997,400.  

Compared to a year ago, the capital city asking prices posted increases of 10.2% for houses and 2.5% increase for units.

Over the month, most capital cities recorded marginal asking price increases however, Sydney’s unit prices declined by 0.4%, and Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart’s house prices all recorded declines of 0.3%, 1.1% and 0.1%, respectively.
Strongest monthly growth was seen in Darwin’s unit prices with a huge 7.2% increase, followed by Hobart with a 1.5% unit price increase and Perth’s houses had a 1.2% increase.

Year on year, it was only Perth and Darwin that experienced declines in house and unit prices.  All other capital cities recorded growth this time last year with Sydney recording a strong 13.7% house price growth, Melbourne 11.9% house price growth and Hobart a 10.0% house price growth and 18.2% unit price growth, this time last year.

AUCTION LISTINGS* for week ending 7 June 2020



Rest of Week




Rest of Week


Sydney 323 76   All NSW 354 98 Auctions in NSW 
Melbourne 154 25   All VIC 167 28 Auctions in VIC 
Brisbane 23 24   All QLD 47 47 Auctions in QLD 
Perth 1 8   All WA 2 13 Auctions in WA 
Adelaide 12 10   All SA 12 10 Auctions in SA 
Canberra 20 10   All ACT 20 10 Auctions in ACT 
Darwin 2 7   All NT 5 7 Auctions in NT 
Hobart 0 0   All TAS 0 1 Auctions in TAS

*Note: To date, most state governments have announced the return to public open homes and on-site auctions this Saturday, some online auctions could be converted to on-site auctions or postponed to a future date.  The above counts of auctions represent most recent known auction dates for the coming week. 

AUCTION RESULTS for week ending 31 May 2020

Last week, Sydney recorded a final auction clearance rate of 43.1% with mid-week auctions faring better than Saturday results (45.5% verses 42.6%). Sydney volumes rose to 436  properties for the week which is well up on recent weeks. Overall though, clearance rates faltered on the volume. We would regard clearance rates in the low to mid 40s as one where prices are likely weakening.
Melbourne had one of its best weeks since the crisis.  A clearance rate for the week of 49.4% was recorded with the  mid-week results fairing much better than the Saturday results (56.8% verses 47.5%). Volumes remained  low levels at just 231 properties for the week.
Looking forward to this week, Sydney has 399 scheduled which represents a drop on the last week. While Melbourne has 179 scheduled, which is also down. But keep in mind it is the Queen’s Birthday long weekend for both states which normally see volumes fall. Happy cracker night!

Full individual auction results can be found on our website: 



  14 Lexton Avenue, Dandenong VIC 3175

A 2 bedroom house, sitting on a 583 sqm allotment in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong, is being offered for sale at $509,000.  Initially it was advertised with an asking price of $495,000 to $535,000 in March 2020.  It last sold for $262,000 in September 2008.
The home is located near the heart of Dandenong within walking distance to public transport, shops, dining, schools, parks and a short drive to Dandenong Plaza, Eastlink and Monash Freeway.
The existing property is in good condition and is currently tenanted and features 2-bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a spacious lounge, kitchen with meals area and laundry.  The home sits on a large block of land presenting an opportunity to either sub-divide, develop, renovate or knock-down and rebuild (STCA). 

Asking prices for houses in postcode 3175 has declined by 2.4% over the last month, after a 3.0% increase over 12 months.  Current house prices range from $550,000 to $650,000 in this postcode.  Unit asking prices have also declined by 1.2% in this postcode.

Asking rents have also declined by 2.9% over the month for houses and 1.8% for units.  Whilst vacancy rates have increased to 1.9%, up from 1.3% in March, it is still quite low.  A gross rental yield of 3.2% can be achieved for houses in this area.  Total property listings in this area have recently been declining.
This is currently an affordable area of Melbourne and will attract first home buyers however, this property would also suit developers and investors alike.

Keep monitoring this market’s growth with SQM Research’s free property data. Also consider the SQM Property Explorer product for more in-depth data and property price estimator.

Louis Christopher's 2020 Housing Boom & Bust Report has now been released and is available for $59.95!

The Housing Boom and Bust report is accurate, impartial and detailed. Best of all it is priced so that EVERYONE from real estate agents, financial planners to regular mums and dads can access it at just $59.95. 

Key features of the 2020 Boom & Bust report include:

  • Louis Christopher's personal take on the markets 
  • Capital city forecasts 
  • Main drivers of demand and supply at present and going forward 
  • All leading indicators such as stock on market, vacancy rates etc
  • All the possible scenarios that could play out next year 
  • Nearly every city and regional postcode covered re: property stats plus ratings outlook

If you are a real estate professional or a serious residential property investor, you will not want to miss this report!

If you are interested in where the market is heading on a national level, then this is the report for you from one of the most
accurate housing market forecaster in the country. 

Click here to purchase now!


Did you know that SQM Research doesn’t only provide residential property data, we also provide research on all asset classes.  We have data and analytics on over 10,000 funds in Australia.  To find out more and to subscribe to our Fund Data tool click here.

If you would like to subscribe to our Ratings Newsletter, click here.  The newsletter provides regular updates on all funds including ratings changes and media releases, and valuable Insights into the point of view of our analysts on a variety of ratings research related topics.  And it’s completely free!

SQM Research Weekly Asking Prices Index
Week ending: 2 Jun 2020 Asking Price Chg on
   prev wk
  Rolling month
% chg
  12 month
% chg
Sydney  All Houses  1,391.3 4.2  0.8%  13.7% 
All Units 701.6 -3.3  -0.4%  2.6% 
Melbourne  All Houses 1,042.6 -2.1  0.1%  11.9% 
All Units 565.0 2.7  0.5%  4.4% 
Brisbane  All Houses 640.1 0.4  -0.3%  3.7% 
All Units 374.6 0.2  0.4%  0.8% 
Perth  All Houses 664.2 -0.0  1.2%  1.4% 
All Units 377.5 0.6  0.9%  -1.7% 
Adelaide  All Houses 528.1 0.2  0.8%  2.9% 
All Units 307.1 1.5  0.0%  1.9% 
Canberra  All Houses 823.2 1.5  -0.0%  1.6% 
All Units 439.2 -0.2  0.2%  2.1% 
Darwin  All Houses 574.0 -0.4  -1.1%  -3.0% 
All Units 344.7 2.8  7.2%  -3.3% 
Hobart  All Houses 569.0 1.2  -0.1%  10.0% 
All Units 357.0 3.2  1.5%  18.2% 
National  All Houses 606.5 8.7  1.1%  6.9% 
All Units 390.6 0.7  -0.5%  4.3% 
Cap City Average   All Houses 997.4 1.9  0.5%  10.2% 
All Units 573.3 -0.0  -0.1%  2.5% 

Next update: 9 Jun 2020

SQM Research Weekly Rents Index
Week ending: 28 May 2020    Rent      Chg on
prev week
 Rolling month
% chg
 12 month
% chg
Sydney  All Houses   643.9 -1.9  -1.8%  -6.8% 
All Units 480.1 -0.1  -0.2%  -4.7% 
Melbourne  All Houses 532.7 -0.7  -0.5%  -1.4% 
All Units 405.8 -0.8  -0.8%  -4.3% 
Brisbane  All Houses 460.3 1.7  0.6%  0.3% 
All Units 376.5 -0.5  0.0%  1.4% 
Perth  All Houses 451.3 2.7  -0.1%  0.4% 
All Units 346.8 1.2  -0.0%  3.0% 
Adelaide  All Houses 409.0 1.0  0.3%  4.0% 
All Units 316.7 -1.7  0.3%  4.2% 
Canberra  All Houses 624.0 -3.0  -2.5%  0.2% 
All Units 465.7 0.3  0.2%  1.1% 
Darwin  All Houses 485.8 4.2  4.6%  -2.2% 
All Units 354.8 0.2  -1.5%  -4.8% 
Hobart  All Houses 429.9 0.1  -1.1%  0.8% 
All Units 388.6 -0.6  -0.6%  -0.2% 
National  All Houses 441.0 1.0  0.5%  0.5% 
All Units 369.0 -1.0  0.3%  0.3% 
Cap City Average   All Houses 538.0 0.0 -0.4%  -2.7% 
All Units 427.0 0.0 0.0% -3.2% 

Next update: 4 Jun 2020

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