What a difference a week can make!
Victoria’s property market was thrown into disarray with the announcement of a ‘circuit breaking’ five day lock down from Friday, 11:59pm. Some scheduled auctions were immediately converted to online auctions, others were postponed to the following weekend and a few selling before auction. All of the scheduled open for inspections (for lease or sale) were cancelled with a mad rush for some agents to get prospective buyers/tenants through via private inspections on Friday. Under Stage 4 restrictions, inspections for pre-settlement, commencement or end of lease services are permitted.
The REIV clearance rate over the weekend is subject to change (and is not a true reflection of the current market) but at this stage stands at 95% on 329 auctions reported. 16 passed in, 170 sold at auction, 143 sold before auction, 60 were withdrawn, 219 postponed and 231 not reported.
It looks likely that regional Victoria’s lockdown will cease Wednesday night however it is still unknown what this week will look like for metropolitan Melbourne. We have adapted so well from the previous lockdowns it has been easy to convert most activities to online. If Stage 4 restrictions are extended, it will mean that the Melbourne real estate market will have a short pause before being fully functional again.
Will this have any affect on property prices? Not likely, but there is no doubt the economy has taken another hit, especially in the hospitality and retail sector. But we have lived through two of these before, lets just hope this third one is as short as we hope.