What was I worried about just 14 days ago? I could not remember, maybe it was the fact that my weight was increasing again and I was still eating heavy dinners. What do I worry now? My increasing weight is now secondary. The main thing on my mind is the number of new COVID-19 infections. It’s all the news about a potential global recession which some are saying that it may just be a global economic depression instead.
I am also very alert when I am out to buy groceries from the nearby supermarket. Somehow, I want to be far away from everyone. Well, I am not alone. Australians have the same worry as me; COVID-19 worry. This has occupied their mind so much that property auction activities are now trending downwards. By the way, in case everyone does not know, Australians love properties and auctions are the most popular way people sell and buy houses too.
Article in nst.com.my Property consultancy CoreLogic said that the preliminary auction clearance rate has slumped to 61.3% from above 70% in recent weeks. This may be a sign that the new social distancing measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus is threatening to scuttle auction activity. CoreLogic said, “In all likelihood we will see more vendors choosing to withdraw from the market until confidence and selling conditions improve.”
Prices are predicted to fall 10-15% this year as activity slows and the unemployment rate rises making fewer people eligible for new loans to buy homes. This slowdown was after a recovery which started in mid-2019 from a long downturn previously. Economists expect Australia to slip into its first recession in nearly three decades in 2020 and the unemployment to rise to as high as 7.5% from 5.1% now. Please do refer to more details in the Article in nst.com.my
Clearly not so positive news but I think this situation is similar in most countries affected by COVID-19 currently. As at today (23 March 2020), Australia has a total of 1,622 active cases while Malaysia has 1,345 active cases. Australia has closed its borders for all foreigners for at least 6 months. (read here) Malaysia is in day 6 of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which will end on 31st March 2020 based on the original announcement.
My wish is very simple. For all countries to start beating back the COVID-19 and we could return to normalcy sooner rather than later. In the mean time, please stay at home and do not be a spreader. ONE person can make a huge difference. As for the property auction hunters, it may just be a good time to catch some bargains if there are fewer fellow bidders who may just prefer to stay at home instead. Just stay safe yeah. You want to catch the bargain but you do not want to catch the virus.
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