Repayment holidays offered by lenders, a strong banking system and the temporary nature of the virus mean house prices are unlikely to suffer any significant falls, say industry experts.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless says while home buying and selling would stall for some months, prices were likely to be more insulated. He says a 10% short-term fall is realistic. chief economist Nerida Conisbee says property markets are diverse so forecasting a 30% decline “doesn’t mean anything”.

“It’s not a financial crisis and our banking system is still solid,” she says. “We would be in a different position if we didn’t have a strong financial system and things like mortgage repayment freezes.”

Property investor and university lecturer Peter Koulizos says, “We have six-month mortgage holidays and, unlike the 1990s, interest rates are at 2–3%, not at 15–16%.”

Lawless says 2020 might even be a good time to buy property.