Capital city house prices have barely moved in the past three months despite forecasts they would fall by up to 30%. CoreLogic’s home value index shows capital city house prices in May were almost identical to where they were in March and April. Data published this week by SQM Research shows that the capital city average for May has been a 0.5% rise in house prices, with continuing small growth in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless says house price falls may flow from forced sales if loan arrears spike after October, but right now distressed property sales are rare.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver says government and bank assistance packages have contained unemployment and helped household incomes. Repayment holidays and wages subsidies are set to end in late September though, and could spark a financial crunch. “There will still be some hit to the property market as we go into October – not all the jobs that have been lost will come back,” says Oliver.