As we head into the second month of 2021, the continuing growth in property prices has industry veterans like KR Peters Director Peter Nicolls shaking their heads in amazement.
"Property prices are skyrocketing. Yet all the indications are that the reverse should be happening," said Mr Nicolls, who has been selling and buying real estate for 45 years.
"There is so much heat in the property market that the panic stricken homebuyers will buy anything to get a foot in the door."
In its latest report released on Monday 1 February, CoreLogic found that house prices had continued to rise throughout Australia in the first month of 2021. Values now surpass pre-Covid levels by 1.0 per cent.
CoreLogic found that every capital city and region recorded a rise in housing values over the month, ranging from a 2.3 per cent surge in Darwin to 0.4 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne.
It's a trend that Mr Nicolls says defies expectations, particularly in Victoria.
"We are experiencing a mass exodus of people leaving the state, caused mainly by the Premier's draconian lockdowns and tough Covid stance," Mr Nicolls explained.
"Rentals for certain types of properties, mostly inner city apartments, are down 20-25% and vacant for significant periods of time, often between three and six months.
"Immigration numbers are also down significantly due to Covid and international border restrictions. "Property prices should be struggling to hold their current values, and yet people are panic buying like we witnessed with toilet paper and then pasta and rice. "In certain areas property prices are increasing by thousands and thousands of dollars each week."
Mr Nicolls said the post Covid real estate price hike was more understandable in places like Western Australia, where property prices had not risen for more than a decade. Likewise, Queensland had experienced moderate growth over the past few years but nothing of any significance.
Victoria and New South Wales have been the only standout performers.
"In my mind the catalyst for the phenomenon we are witnessing right in front of us was when the Reserve Bank foolishly announced that low interest rates were here to stay for the next three years," Mr Nicolls said.
"It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of March when JobKeeper comes to an end and the $15,000 HomeBuilder grant ceases.
"When the music stops the losses will be huge. Buyers will have committed the fatal mistake of overpaying."