Pandemic Habits - Australia's conversation about property prices has changed

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 10 September 2020

Australia’s national obsession with property prices has faded in the face of the pandemic.

A study by Streem realtime media monitoring, in collaboration with REA, found the number of news reports about residential property prices dropped significantly between March and August.

Coverage levels were still down 29% in August compared to the same month in 2019, despite a slight uptick from its June-July lows.

But it is how the house price conversation has changed that is most revealing. Reporting on topics such as housing affordability, interest rates and negative gearing has dropoped by more trhan half.

At the same time, renting has taken up more media interest.

“There seems to be less reporting on housing as an asset and more reporting on housing as a basic human need,” says Streem’s media and partnerships lead Conal Hanna.

housing topics - Streem

REA chief economist Nerida Conisbee told she had never discussed the rental market as often as she has since the pandemic.

“There’s been a real shift in the discussion around renting,” she says.

When it comes to property sales there has been increased talk of "sellers" and less mentions of "buyers". 

Talk of price falls is up 40%, while talk of price rises has dropped by a third.

house price - rises and falls streem

However, commercial property has seen a surge in reporting.

There has been 50% more coverage of commercial property in the past six months compared to the previous six months, while the number of prominent items has grown 8%.

The relationship between landlords and commercial tenants dominated the conversation.

commercial - Streem

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