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The Victorian real estate market is weathering the coronavirus storm, according to new figures.

By Tamara Lloyd

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s latest Residential Market Index (RMX) figures have outlined a positive picture for the state’s market.

“In mid-March, the price index was heading into possible new record levels. This is based on the prices recorded a couple of weeks before the restrictions came into effect,” a statement from the REIV said.

“The RMX has been gradually declining since late March due to the coronavirus outbreak, which saw significant restrictions enforced on real estate. Although for now, residential prices in Victoria are still stronger than the same period last year.”

The RMX considers all properties (not just the ones sold) and gives weekly insight into real price movement over time, a more accurate and up-to-date reflection on current price trends, the REIV statement explained.

“The current RMX reference period is 2016, equivalent to 100.0. This aligns property prices with the most recent ABS census data at the time of release. Meaning that the property price-weighted average in 2016 was given a value of 100.0, and price movements over time are relative to this ‘base’ reference period.

“The current RMX value of 125.4 means that, on average, properties in Victoria today are worth 25.4 per cent more than they were in 2016.”

As of the week ended 17 May 2020, the RMX saw an increase of 0.9 of a percentage point week-on-week. This marked the breaking of a declining streak seen in the eight weeks prior.

“Victorian property prices have held firm during COVID-19, [and] prices are higher than they were 12 months ago,” REIV president Leah Calnan said.

“There are many predictions circling about real estate and the economy in general, but looking at what the actual data tells us, the Victorian market is weathering the storm well. At this time, prices are not as affected by the coronavirus pandemic compared to sales volume, which remains much lower than expected at this time of year.

“The Victorian market continues to show strong resilience, [and] with the return of public auctions and easing of some restrictions, we expect the market to soon start gaining the momentum it lost due to the pandemic.”

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