Coronavirus: Australia leads global economic fightback, and property will signal the way out

8 Apr 2020

Australia is among the top three countries in the world best placed to ride out the economic fallout of COVID-19, with experts predicting property will signal the recovery.

Empty parks and streets in Brisbane City due to social distancing rules linked to the Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Russell Shakespeare

A report by PRD Nationwide called “Developed Country Response to COVID-19”, looked at all G20 nations and their packages designed to bolster economies and jobs (in USD).

Per capita Australia ranked second, behind Germany, as being the best placed nation to ride out the economic downturn, while as a percentage of GDP it ranked third, surpassed only by Germany and Japan.

PRD chief economist Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo told The Courier-Mail that the numbers showed that Australia’s fiscal policy had put the coutry in a strong position for recovery.

Stimulus Per Capita (USD)

Germany $9,890.08
Australia $7,842.56
United States $6,077.83

(Source: PRD Nationwide)

“Against other developed countries Australia’s stimulus package as a percentage of 2019 GDP (14.4 per cent) is on the higher end, above the US and Canada, and significantly higher than our neighbours New Zealand,” Ms Mardiasmo said.

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Walkers are urged not to press buttons at crossings as part of moves to flatten the coronavirus curve in Brisbane.

Walkers are urged not to press buttons at crossings as part of moves to flatten the coronavirus curve in Brisbane.

“From a stimulus per capita perspective, Australia is in a strong position, only second to Germany. We are well ahead.”

She said taking the number of jobs lost (750,557) and the stimulus package as a percentage of 2019 GDP, Australia had a strong ability to provide the population financial assistance. “In some instances more favourably compared toother countries.”

It was the stimulus packages and ability of the country to keep people employed in the property sector that underpinned the relative strength when compared with other parts of the economy that had been dramatically hit, she said.

Stimulus as % of GDP (USD)

1. Germany 21.4% $825.99billion
2. Japan 14.5% $747.89325 billion
3. Australia 14.4% $197.6576 billion

(Source: PRD Nationwide)

Simon Pressley, the head of Propertyology, a buying agency, expected the crisis to mirror those of the past, where the rebound began “with a real estate surge before anything else”.

He said shelter was the one thing 25.5 million Australians had in common, and the way to build confidence en masse was around the value of people’s homes.

“A strong property market will again lead Australia out of this latest coronavirus health crisis, potentially starting as soon as six months’ time.”

Mr Pressley expected the coming months to lead to record low transaction volumes, coming off supply that was already tight in the lead-up to the epidemic

“Let’s not forget that Australian real estate already had a significant shortage of properties listed for sale before this virus tipped our communities upside down.”

Yet unlike the previous GFC, he said, this time credit policy was so tight in Australia that the quality of loans approved in the past few years was “exceptionally high”.

He said the variety of support packages plus record low interest rates and empathetic banks “will cushion property owners through this and greatly minimise the need for distressed residential property sales”.

Number of Job Losses

India 38,000,000
Mexico 18,000,000
China 5,000,000
Canada 4,000,000
Germany 1,400,000
Australia 750,557

(Source: PRD Nationwide)

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