On the back of an incredibly difficult week for Victoria, with the Andrews’ government announcing COVID-19 restrictions will continue according to its new road map, the virus-stricken state is coming to grips with six more months of lockdown.
For its part, the real estate sector is acknowledging it will miss its traditionally busy spring season altogether. But everything is not completely lost, with agents anticipating a possible light at the end of the tunnel, which could see the industry enjoy some recovery in December and January.
One Melbourne real estate agent described this potential Christmas gift as similar to the usual “kick off with a bang” scenario experienced in February and March, after a summer season with few new listings. In this sense, the end of 2020 could see a “swing out of the gates, mad rush” situation in a time when real estate has become a hands-off, virtual trading place.
With the Andrews’ government only allowing metropolitan Melbourne to move to the last step of its COVID-19 restrictions road map from November 23 – and this if no state-wide cases have been detected for 14 days – there is the likelihood that neither intra nor interstate vacations over Christmas will be allowed. As such, the industry is preparing to work through the holidays and both catch up with an impending real estate rush and repair the damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on real estate in 2020.
Agents have been encouraged by the activity they experienced from vendors and buyers, just before stage 4 restrictions were supposed to change on September 13. Some offices were locking in buyer appointments as well as times with vendors for official photography of their homes. Agents are now trying to adapt to last week’s knockback, knowing that these same people are still keen to put up their hands for properties, as well as sell and move on. Home appraisals continue to be uploaded to websites and the property management side of the sector is becoming especially competitive despite landlords now facing reduced rental agreements – and in some cases, no income from rents at all – for up to a year.
The industry acknowledges it could take six to 12 months to recover from the damage that COVID-19 has wrought. However, it’s still determined to keep its collective head high, cross its fingers for a Christmas break – professionally and personally – and hold tight to a positive adage of “one day at a time, one deal at a time”.
Whatever your property plans may be, get in touch with your local Greg Hocking office to chat about how we can make your property aspirations a reality.