How has lockdown affected the Mosman property market

Oct 31, 2021 | by DiJones

With buyer demand still surging across the wider property market, Mosman has an extra ace up its sleeve. In an already hot real estate environment, lifestyle locations have emerged as the big winners in the new pandemic-era landscape. And where offers a better lifestyle in Sydney than Mosman?

But first things first. The ongoing strength and demand across the property market has been underpinned by record low interest rates. But can they last? Despite anxiety rates were poised to lift, RBA data points to new home loans for owner-occupiers dropping 12 basis points during the first half of 2021, and 18 points for investors. With GDP expected to decline, pundits are tipping continued low rates.

A fall in household savings was also predicted during the COVID fuelled lockdowns. Instead, the opposite proved to be the case with a savings windfall. It was underpinned by the dual drivers of declining consumption and increased financial support for households, CoreLogic points to a lift of 22% saving of household income against a decade average of 7%.

With that strong base to the drivers of real estate demand in place, an added cocktail of factors created even more steam. Multiple first home buyer incentives were put in place, from state-based grants and concessions to incentives for the purchase of new construction property, adding to the pre-pandemic first home loan deposit scheme which was already in place.

Then another factor came into play. One of the by-products of the pandemic was the planned return of Australia’s estimated one million foreign-based expats. The pandemic forced many to consider moving home and — many cashed up — they were ready to join the property party.

Those ex-pats generally fall into one of three categories. Expats returning home, expats still overseas with plans to move home, and expats on the hunt for investment properties. The past 18 months has seen an increase in numbers in all three categories.

When you toss all these factors into an environment with low stock levels, demand was now out-stripping supply. Property pundits point to another, less tangible factor of buyer behaviour pushing the market: FOMO. A favourite of the Instagram generation, Fear of Missing Out proved to be a fire starter fuelling prices that have continued to climb in every state and territory. FOMO saw record listing views and an aggressive auction environment.

The result of all this activity, put simply, saw home prices surge in the past year to clock the fastest growth in more than three decades. CoreLogic’s national home value index lifted another 1.5% in September, taking Australian housing values 17.6% higher over the first nine months of the year and 20.3% higher over the past 12 months.  The annual growth rate is now tracking at the fastest rate since 1989.

Mosman hasn’t missed the party. Indeed, median house sales prices in the suburb topped $4.5 million in 2021. One of the big drivers has been the lifestyle card.

COVID-19 fuelled lockdowns forced many Australians to revaluate the lifestyle they lead, the areas they live in and the nature of the homes they reside in. The big winner in this market shift is suburbs with parks, beaches and good schools. And Mosman has them all.

Lifestyle locations are major drawcards for cashed-up buyers who can’t spend on overseas travel and can borrow at ultra-low interest rates. With a cloud still hanging over international travel, buyers are prepared to put a higher premium on where they live.

Mosman apartment buyers find themselves in a community with parks and beaches at their doorstep. Home buyers have those advantages as well as good sized homes, generally on big blocks. Room to add some of those COVID-era inspired accoutrements, such as home offices, household gyms and resort-style spaces. All within an easy commute to the city by road or ferry.