“Just keep swimming”: Victoria’s real estate stable in lockdown

As Victoria enters its third day of a five-day lockdown, buyers and sellers are confident in the property market’s resilience.

Approximately 800 auctions were planned for the weekend, as reported by OzHome News last week, but the majority of those had to be rescheduled at the last minute after a hotel quarantine mix-up sent the state into a snap lockdown.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Leah Calnan says now it’s a waiting game.

“The advice we’ve given is that if tasks can wait until Thursday then they should,” Leah says.

“Everyone’s waiting at the moment, vendors and agents, we’re all waiting.”

62 Blair Street, Coburg went under the hammer earlier this month.

Real estate agents in Victoria already have a lot of experience in conducting non-traditional campaigns, thanks to last year’s months-long lockdown.

Especially in Melbourne, many vendors began a blended approach on their campaign focussing particularly on online platforms. 

Practices have continued to evolve even once restrictions eased. In Victoria, weekend auctions aren’t necessarily the norm.

“We did see last year throughout December a lot of auctions taking place during the week,” Leah says. “It’s not unheard of and it might become more of a regular opportunity for buyers moving forward.”

35 Annand Street, Fitzroy North was set to go to auction on Saturday, February 13 but the lockdown has delayed this.

Just over 300 properties went to auction this weekend, of the 800 scheduled, and of those properties 95 per cent were cleared, according to the REIV.

Leah says the market is preparing for the worst-case scenario – the lockdown stretching on past the earmarked five-day period.

“We’d be encouraging vendors who potentially have properties to go to auction this upcoming weekend to have online platforms ready to go as well. If there is an extension to the lockdown we may see the scheduled auction numbers reduce for the next few weeks, but it’s wait and see at the moment.”

While timing and location may change, the snap lockdown – and any future lockdowns – shouldn’t impact the market, reassures Leah.

It’s still unsure when 203 Koornang Road, Carnegie, will now be auctioned.

She says if vendors have chosen to sell and purchasers are looking to buy, they will.

“The lockdown won’t make a difference to the budget range or the vendor’s selling range,” she explains. “Prices will remain stable.”

“It really demonstrates the resilience that we’ve seen in the property market for nearly 12 months.”

“Like Dory, we just keep swimming.”

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