The Federal Government’s HomeBuilder Grant will end today, and industry experts are speculating about what’s in store for the Victorian property market, with the looming question being ‘will confidence remain?’

With another Melbourne snap lockdown in February 2021, the state of the market remains perpetually on the edge of volatility and predicting how Victoria will fare throughout the rest of 2021 is far from simple.

AVID Property Group General Manager Victoria Peter Vlitas said the Grant was a boon for the property industry but cautioned that Australia needed to be prepared to put other initiatives in place.

“HomeBuilder has acted as a lifeline for the Victorian property industry after being the most severely affected state in Australia due to prolonged lockdowns and its heavy reliance on net overseas migration. It’s been incredible to see the confidence in the market with the HomeBuilder Grant,” Mr Vlitas said.

As of January 2021, the Westpac consumer confidence index sat at 107, 41.5 per cent above the lows in April 20201, with Aussies still in a buying frenzy in the Victorian market, despite an outflow of residents to northern states and loss of its international migration demographic.

“Australia watched and waited to see what the property market would do throughout the pandemic. It seemed a miracle to see how steady, and in fact soaring, the property market has been − even in Victoria − in such a devasting global health crisis,” Mr Vlitas said.

Nationally, the developer saw an 83 per cent increase in the number of deposits from the same period last year, and more than 35 per cent of these buyers accessing the HomeBuilder Grant between June and March 2021.

Mr Vlitas argued that efforts now need to go towards bringing workers back to the CBD and investing in discussions to bring international students back, safely and carefully, to Victoria to buoy the state’s property market.

“While we’ve seen a huge upswing in sales activity that we attribute to the Grant, the government can only fiscally support this for so long.

“The stimulus offered by the Grant has injected consumer confidence into the market at an incredible speed – but it was a short-term fix.”

Mr Vlitas argued that Australia needs to be agile and consider more long-term measures that work towards a post COVID solution in order to keep the industry on its road to recovery.