PHOTO: Housing Market

The virus impact is creating volatile share markets but I expect the outcomes for property markets to be quite positive by comparison.

At times of extreme uncertainty and volatility, Australians tend to retreat to the solidity and relative safety of bricks and mortar.

We saw that the last time there was a global crisis impacting on our economy and causing the Federal Government and the Reserve Bank to take special action – and that was in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. 

At that time we were inundated with economists and others seeking their 15 minutes of fame by forecasting a collapse in housing values. Academic Steve Keen famously predicted that our property values would drop at least 40% in 2009. If he’d been right, it would have been an unprecedented demise of house prices, not only in Australia but anywhere in the world.

And Keen was not alone. At that time, and in subsequent years, there was a seemingly never-ending line-up of doomsday forecasters for Australian real estate. 

One American spruiker, seeking to drum up publicity for an Australian seminar tour, claimed that house values would drop 60% and that land values would fall 90%.