August 10th REA Insights Weekly Commercial Search Report, 2020

Victoria recorded an 8.1 per cent decline in commercial property searches last week.
Victoria recorded an 8.1 per cent decline in commercial property searches last week.

Search volumes in Victoria fell sharply last week, but not by as much as during first lockdowns.

For sale search volumes fell by -5.5 per cent last week marking the largest weekly fall in 19 weeks.

The weekly volume of for sale searches is now -11.1 per cent below its record high. However, despite COVID-19, volumes remain 2.1 per cent higher than last year.

A closer look at the numbers shows most of the decline last week was due to a drop in search activity in Victoria. While the -12.2 per cent fall in Victoria was large, it was smaller than the weekly falls recorded during the first round of lockdowns.

Australian Capital Territory was the only state in which for sale search volumes rose last week (0.4%).

For sale search volumes are now lower than their peak throughout all states with South Australia (-8.7%) and Queensland (-8.9%) recording the smallest falls and Tasmania (-32.4%) and Northern Territory (-36.4%) the largest.

The weekly volumes of searches in now lower than it was a year ago in Victoria (-10.9%), Tasmania (-17.7%) and Northern Territory (-19.8%), while the largest increases were recorded in Australian Capital Territory (41.2%) and South Australia (27.0%).

Lease search volumes fell by -9.2 per cent fall  last week, which was also the largest fall in 19 weeks.

The volume of searches for properties for lease has now declined by -20.9 per cent from its peak, although it is still 2.0 per cent higher than this time last year.

Despite a large weekly fall in national lease search volumes, they  actually increased in South Australia (1.7%), Western Australia (4.5%) and Northern Territory (7.5%) last week. The largest weekly falls were recorded in Victoria (-24.2%) and Tasmania (-10.6%).

Victoria (-41.1%) and Tasmania (-20.8%) have recorded the largest falls in weekly lease search volumes from their peak while Western Australia (-14.3%), Queensland and South Australia (both -15.0%) have recorded the smallest declines.

In each state except for Victoria (-24.8%) lease search volumes are higher than they were a year ago with Tasmania (13.6%) and Northern Territory (13.4%) recording the largest increases.

It’s pretty clear that the weakening consumer and business confidence and the re-introduction of lockdowns in Victoria is adversely impacting search behaviour on

As the economic impact of the recession drag on, I still believe many businesses will be looking to make savings on their accommodation costs and this will lead to an increase in the number of properties listed for sale and rent and increased search volumes. In saying that, these changes may take some time to occur given the current economic uncertainty.