PHOTO: Here’s how international markets are reacting. Images: Getty

Australia has shut down auctions and open houses, significantly impacting the number of homes hitting the market. 

Beyond that, however, it’s too early to know just what impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on house prices. The most recent figures show Australian property values rising 0.7 per cent in March, dented somewhat by a slide in the later weeks of the month. 

But according to chief economist Nerida Conisbee, international markets offer some hints. 

China, Northern Italy, New York and the UK have all been dealt severe blows by the highly infectious disease.

But there’s one main property trend: markets that went into the Covid-19 period strong are generally faring better.

REINZ CEO Bindi Norwell

Auckland & NZ hit record median prices before COVID-19 hit, says REINZ

“The New York property market started the year particularly strong. In the first quarter of 2020, the number of sales were up 13.5 per cent compared to the same time last year and the median sale price was down 1.2 per cent,” Conisbee said. 

“[But] New York now has a strict lockdown in place, which means that real estate agents can’t work, and it is not possible to do an in person showing of a property.

“Last week, only two properties sold at the median price point in New York (US$4 million), dropping to the lowest level since the Global Financial Crisis.”

And according to data from, new listings fell 31 per cent year on year in the week ending 5 April.

The situation is similar in Northern Italy, where sales were heading towards a solid first quarter before being knocked down by the pandemic. Milan has seen homes for sale fall 12 per cent in January and February compared to last year, but it’s unclear if this slowdown is due to the virus or a general slowing in the region.



What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise