July 13th REA Insights Weekly Commercial Property Search Report, 2020

Surprisingly the largest falls last week weren’t experienced in Victoria.
Surprisingly the largest falls last week weren’t experienced in Victoria.

Commercial search volumes slid last week, with searches for properties to buy down -2.3 per cent.

Despite recent falls, search volumes are still 84.4 per cent higher than their recent low and 4.9 per cent higher year-on-year.

In Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory search volumes were actually up last week with falls elsewhere.

Perhaps a little surprising given a large share of the state returning to lockdown, but Victoria didn’t record the largest fall in search volumes, with New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania all recording larger falls last week.

For sale search volumes are now below their recent peak in all states, the largest falls having been recorded in Northern Territory (-35.2%) and Australian Capital Territory (-24.7%) and the smallest declines having happened in South Australia (-3.3%) and Queensland (-7.2%).

Victoria is the only state in which for sale search volumes are lower than a year ago (-0.6%) with the largest annual increases occurring in South Australia (22.0%) and Australian Capital Territory (19.8%).

Lease search volumes fell -5.0 per cent last week, which was their largest weekly fall in 16 weeks and the third consecutive weekly fall. Lease search volumes are now -12.1 per cent lower than their peak.

The largest weekly falls in lease search volumes were recorded in Victoria (-8.5%) and New South Wales (-6.3%) while Queensland and Tasmania were the only two states in which search volumes rose.

Lease search volumes are down from their recent peak across all states, the smallest overall falls have been recorded in Tasmania (-0.4%) and Queensland (-9.7%) and the largest in Northern Territory (-33.8%) and Victoria (19.9%).

Despite this year-on-year lease search volumes remain ip 14.3 per cent nationally. Across the states, volumes are lower in Northern Territory (-4.0%) and unchanged in Victoria while the largest increases have occurred in Tasmania (37.4%) and New South Wales (18.3%).

Despite recent weakness I still expect that interest in commercial property will bouyant as the economy continues to rebound and business support measures begin to be wound-down. Accommodation and staff costs are generally businesses two largest cost centres and I anticipate that business will be looking to make savings in each of these areas as the economy continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.