A MESSAGE FROM OUR MANAGING DIRECTOR
Only a few months ago Coronavirus was just a word in the news – little were we to know how much everything would change. Like so many parts of the economy the real estate market has seen significant disruption, yet the whole machinery of the industry has adapted to the ‘new normal’ with surprising ease.
Whilst there was an initial reluctance of buyers to venture out to inspect property, there was a significant pool of buyers whose contracts of sale has gone unconditional and were now technically homeless. COVID-19 or not they needed to secure a new home so a significant number of the pool of buyers in the market were already self-qualified. For that reason, initially we were pleasantly surprised with buyer’s keen to inspect under difficult circumstances.
The decision by the banks to defer mortgage payments for up to six months has served to protect property prices and this action has seen a noticeable buffering against a rush for the doors. Whilst there has been a softening of prices in the short term it remains to be seen what happens with prices at the end of this ‘holiday period’ if the economy does not fire up.
Whilst current stock levels continue to decline, new listings have been slow although we have noticed an increase in appraisals indicating a level of rising confidence or at least curiosity in how the market is tracking. Certainly, first and second home buyers remain active across all entry levels whilst sales in excess of $1M have continued in the lifestyle sector. Titled land sales in Officer have also been strong. The relaxation of social restrictions and the ability to conduct open homes can only further enhance activity. The old adage that you buy and sell in the same market remains true.
It has been a study in resilience to watch our sales and property rental teams across all three offices, buoyed by a ‘can do’ attitude, simply get on with the job at hand.
Our Commercial Rental Department has done an excellent job negotiating a host of new lease terms with Tenants and Landlords severely impacted by COVID-19. Praise is to be offered to both Landlords and Tenants for working together in adverse times to achieve a desired outcome.
Residential Rentals remains constant with strong numbers of new applications wanting to lease property. Our vacancy rate remains at a very healthy 0.37%.
To our team and clientele, thank you for your support over the past months. In the most difficult of times, we often find the very best in one another. Take care and look after one another.