This time last week, many people were worried about catching coronavirus, but they were also concerned about how they were going to keep paying their rent or mortgage. Everything was moving so quickly it was no surprise that many of us were fearful of what lay ahead.
This week, though, we are starting to see green shoots of good news, with the percentage change of new coronavirus starting to fall. While it is early days, there are tentative signs of flattening of the curve here in Queensland but also across the nation. Of course, we need these reductions to keep going so the movement restrictions as well as shutdowns of some business will continue for the time being.
On top of these early signs that our nation’s collective efforts appear to be working, hundreds of billions of dollars of government financial support packages have been announced for employees and businesses.
The latest was the $130 billion Federal Government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy package, which will provide $1500 a fortnight for eligible businesses and employees.
There is no doubt that the subsidy will provide much-needed financial lifelines for employees who have either already been stood down or who have had their income significantly impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
Of course, these businesses and employees include tenants, homeowners and landlords, with these funds likely to be used to help meet their financial obligations include rent and mortgage repayments.
Over the past few weeks, a number of government financial assistance packages have been announced to support individuals and households, including:
- JobKeeper payment for households
- Income support for individuals
- Payments to support households
- Temporary early release of superannuation
- Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
- Reducing social security deeming rates
Likewise, a number of initiatives have been announced to support Australian businesses to manage current cash flow challenges as well as the retention of employees. The Federal Government business support packages include temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses including:
- JobKeeper payment
- Boosting cash flow for employers
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Increasing the instant asset write-off
- Backing business investment
- Supporting apprentices and trainees
All of these support packages mean that most Australians will have access to some sort of financial assistance over the months ahead if needed.
This will help to reduce rental stress and mortgage stress for employees and businesses significantly impacted by the coronavirus.
It’s important to remember, though, that the majority of Australians remain employed, which will help to underpin the economic recovery when it begins.
In the same vein, the business of real estate will rebound because it is fundamentally about the provision of shelter, which is more important today than it has ever been.