Melbourne property market back in business this weekend with auctions and inspections back
Melburnians will be able to buy and sell homes face to face this weekend after the Victorian government announced it would lift the restrictions that saw the entire market move online during lockdown.
Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino announced on Wednesday that the strict stage 4 restrictions put in place two weeks ago to stop the spread of COVID-19 were being eased.
From Friday, up to 50 people can attend on-street auctions in metropolitan areas and a maximum of 10 people inspect a home, so long as they meet the density requirements of one person per four square metres.
However, buyers from Melbourne will not be able to travel to regional Victoria to attend auctions, with a travel restriction of no farther than 25 kilometres from home, still in place.
“We’ve always said that when we could safely ease the rules, we would. And, if we could make things even just a little easier, we wouldn’t waste a minute,” Mr Merlino said at a press conference.
“It’s why, on the advice of the chief health officer, we can take some first safe steps. That means metropolitan Melbourne will move to almost the same settings currently in place across regional Victoria. And, regional Victoria will move towards further easing.”
While agents welcomed the news, many believed Melbourne’s property market, which had been operating online for the past fortnight, would see auctions being pushed back to allow for buyers to inspect properties in person.
Ray White Victoria chief executive Stephen Dullens said he expected to be very busy from Friday, as buyers booked inspections of properties.
Auctions, however, may be more subdued this weekend as campaigns that usually allow people to inspect properties over a month, have only been able to have people inspect them for half that time.
“We have 60 scheduled auctions this weekend, but the reality is they haven’t had people through them for two weeks,” Mr Dullens said. “So, we’re working with vendors and keeping them informed, so we’ll see what happens.”
Barry Plant Victoria chief executive Mike McCarthy said there would be some lag with sales, with auctions due to go ahead this weekend most likely being pushed back by one or two weeks.
Barry Plant had 36 auctions scheduled, a much lower number than would usually be expected at this time of year.
But, it wouldn’t stay slow for long, with buyers and sellers keen to avoid paying extra stamp duty on properties.
The Victorian government introduced stamp duty discounts last year to help the state’s economy through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. The discount of 25 per cent for established properties ends on June 30.
“We’re expecting a huge weekend on June 23, and to have auctions every day of that next week, with people wanting to get it done and beat the end of the stamp duty concessions,” Mr McCarthy said.
Brad Teal Woodards’ Brad Teal agreed business would be pushed back for a few weeks and expected the weekend to be quieter because it was the Queens Birthday long weekend in Melbourne.
He said inquiries on advertised homes had been slower over the past two weeks than in previous lockdowns.
“I think that’s a product of a lower quality of houses at this time of the year,” Mr Teal said. “There’s less inquiry on those types of marginal homes.”
Ref: MELISSA HEAGNEY | SENIOR JOURNALIST (on 09 Jun 2021). Melbourne property market back in business this weekend with auctions and inspections back. Retrieved from https://www.domain.com.au/news/auctions-and-inspections-back-on-in-melbourne-this-weekend-as-covid-restrictions-ease-1062581/.
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