Without the government subsidies of JobKeeper payments, increased JobSeeker payments and mortgage holidays from the banks, the housing market may have been experiencing price falls by now, says Cameron Kusher, executive manager REA Group. Kusher says welfare payment increases and wage subsidies are not typically features of economic downturns and that is what is making the difference during Covid-19.

Sales are still occurring, albeit in a reduced number with demand and supply falling proportionately. Sellers are not resorting to distressed sales, which are typically seen during a recession. Since governments began lifting Covid-19 restrictions, the property market has responded with a rise in the number of new properties being advertised for sale on realestate.com.au. Kusher says a high unemployment rate won’t necessarily lead to price falls – it hasn’t in the past – but unemployment leads to distressed sales after wage subsidies and mortgage holidays expire, that could be a future hurdle for the housing market.