City suburbs with the biggest price drops since COVID hit

Editor-at-Large · 8 February 2021
Find out which property markets have been hit the hardest by COVID and which ones have already recovered. There could be opportunities.

There’s no denying that the pandemic had an impact on property markets around Australia. CoreLogic analysed the data for 116 local government areas (LGA) and found that 95 saw some level of decline in values since the onset of COVID in March 2020.

“March 2020 is a good yardstick for measuring the impact of COVID on housing markets. That is because it encompasses the ‘start’ of COVID in Australia, when the country reached the milestone of 100 cases diagnosed, and subsequently stage two restrictions rolled out nationally,” explained CoreLogic Head Of Residential Research Australia, Eliza Owen.

The property markets hardest hit by COVID

Melbourne property values were hit the hardest by COVID, followed by Sydney. “Of the 10 council regions where values have been most impacted since the onset of the pandemic, eight were located across Melbourne, and two were in Sydney,” said Ms Owen. “It is unsurprising to see Melbourne dwelling markets have a long way to go before recovering value. Housing demand in this historically global city has been hampered by extended international border restrictions, as well as domestic social distancing policies through the September quarter.”

On a positive note, this could potentially prove to be a good opportunity for home buyers and investors looking for relatively discounted areas. “There have been several city suburbs that have suffered as a result of COVID-19, but could see demand pick up when global migration activity gets back to some level of normalcy,” Ms Owen told Canstar. The table below shows the capital city suburbs with the biggest value falls between the end of March and 31 January.

Top 20 capital city suburbs with greatest value declines since March 2020 through to January 2021

Capital City Suburb Name Median Value – January 2021 Change in dwelling values since March
Greater Melbourne Carlton North $1,230,013 -14.3%
Greater Melbourne Canterbury (Vic.) $2,178,814 -13.8%
Greater Melbourne Beenak $1,323,434 -12.7%
Greater Melbourne Albert Park (Vic.) $1,806,963 -12.5%
Greater Melbourne Malvern (Vic.) $1,448,944 -12.2%
Greater Melbourne Moorabbin Airport $1,092,314 -11.3%
Greater Melbourne Kew (Vic.) $1,270,725 -10.9%
Greater Melbourne Malvern East $1,163,164 -10.8%
Greater Melbourne Middle Park (Vic.) $1,789,332 -10.7%
Greater Melbourne Hawthorn (Vic.) $672,998 -10.7%
Greater Sydney St Leonards (NSW) $1,000,633 -10.2%
Greater Melbourne Camberwell (Vic.) $1,664,555 -10.0%
Greater Melbourne South Melbourne $689,176 -10.0%
Greater Sydney Epping (NSW) $1,076,784 -9.7%
Greater Melbourne Glen Iris (Vic.) $1,403,117 -9.5%
Greater Melbourne West Melbourne $520,910 -9.4%
Greater Brisbane Brisbane City $483,131 -9.3%
Greater Brisbane Mount Coot-tha $1,064,605 -9.3%
Greater Melbourne Mont Albert North $1,280,765 -9.1%
Greater Melbourne Balwyn $1,460,330 -9.0%

Source: CoreLogic. Only suburbs with at least 50 sales were analysed.

The property markets that have recovered since COVID

Even though Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Hobart saw some level of value falls close to the onset of COVID, by December Perth, Brisbane and Hobart housing values had surpassed their March 2020 highs, said Ms Owen. “Home values across Darwin, the ACT and Adelaide have continually increased since March, with Darwin values up 8.3% since the onset of the pandemic,” she added.

At a LGA level, CoreLogic found that of the 95 markets that experienced a decline since COVID, 37 have recovered to value levels above March.

“Some of the strongest value increases since March are located in areas that did see a COVID-induced decline including Kwinana in Perth (up 8.7%), Burnside in Adelaide (up 7.0%), and Scenic Rim in Brisbane (up 6.5%),” said Ms Owen, adding that most of the markets with a strong recovery had seen relatively mild downturns to begin with.

Ms Owen offered the example of Sydney’s Central Coast, where values declined just -0.1% over April. “The Central Coast has been a resilient and popular market through much of 2020 due to the relatively affordable and low density stock across the region, as well as the coastal appeal. Since March, dwelling values on the central coast have increased 6.5% through to December,” she explained.


Cover image source: Nils Versemann (Shutterstock)

This article was reviewed by Editorial Campaigns Manager Maria Bekiaris before it was published as part of our fact-checking process.


Effie ZahosAbout Effie Zahos

Canstar’s Editor-at-Large, Effie Zahos, has more than two decades of experience helping Aussies make the most of their money. Prior to joining Canstar, Effie was the editor of Money Magazine, having helped establish it in 1999. She is an author and one of Australia’s leading personal finance commentators, appearing regularly on TV and radio.



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