28 September 2020

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Baby steps, but the Melbourne property market is reopening today.

While we still await a final directive from the REIV (Real Estate of Victoria) confirming the approved activities, the DHHS website says:

Private inspections for residential real estate can also resume with one client (dependants and a partner may also attend) and is limited to 15 minutes. Residents who are living in the home must not be there. The 5km rule does not apply when inspecting a house for rent or purchase. You can only leave your home for a maximum of 2 hours to attend the inspection and you cannot travel into regional Victoria.

We are not expecting to suddenly see vast numbers of new properties hit the net.  Conversations with agents this morning suggest associated services such as copy writing, floorplans, staging etc. can also recommence, however, it may take a little bit of time for these properties to filter through.

Having said that, the number of advertised new listings has slowly been increasing. Possibly homes that were prepared for sale and about to launch before the lockdown at the start of August?

This will not be a full opening of the market. We believe the intention is to help stressed vendors (many who had purchased before selling prior to the lockdown) and buyers (particularly those who have recently sold) to transact and avoid possibly difficult financial situations or with nowhere to live.

We expect vendors will have contracts and section 32 statements prepared. Homes could sell after one inspection if the price and terms are acceptable. Buyers should be prepared to act quickly if the home suits.

Prior to the second lockdown, more often than not, homes were being sold subject to finance, sometimes for up to 28 days and with long settlements. Vendors lucky enough to have multiple interest may be more attracted to an unconditional offer or short settlement, even if the price is not quite as high as another offer.

It’s still hard to predict where the market will be when/if it resumes with some sort of normal. If Sydney is anything to go by, The Australian reported this morning that Sydney had 815 auctions on the weekend with a preliminary clearance rate of 74%, although it’s perhaps a tiered market with the strongest clearance rates in northwest Sydney at 83% while the west saw only 63% clearance.

We see our next three weeks being very busy with all hands on-deck, calling agents, inspecting properties and continuing on with virtual meetings with clients – old and new.