As a state, we have now completed the first month of the Stage 3 lockdowns that have been brought about by COVID-19; it’s been a time which has seen a significant change in the Real Estate landscape and the way that we at Noel Jones conduct our day to day business.
We have adapted rapidly to meet all new government requirements, whilst still delivering the exceptional level of service that our buyers and sellers deserve. We’ve embraced a number of technologies that have allowed us to communicate with our client base from afar, including Zoom meetings, digital signing platforms and an increase in property videos to enable online inspections and virtual tours, allowing potential buyers to ascertain if a physical inspection is required. Michael Muncey, Director of Noel Jones Mitcham believes that much of this technology will remain in place moving forward.
So, what’s the question that we are most commonly asked at the moment? Not surprisingly, it’s around what we think will happen in the market moving forward, and whether this is a good time to buy and sell property.
In a press conference held on the 22nd April, Victoria’s treasurer Tim Pallas estimated the property market, which is known to be a major source of government revenue, will certainly be affected; a flow on effect of COVID-19, with prices predicted to fall by up to 9% by the end of the year. Other economists including CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless and SQM founder Louis Christopher have not been quite as conservative, pointing out that the longer restrictions are in place, the more significant the decline is likely to be.
Whilst the term ‘declining house prices’ may be worrying to some, there are a number of segments of the buyer market that this can actually work positively for. For people buying and selling at approximately the same time in a softer market, the affect will be quite minimal; if anything, they’ll have an advantage because they’ll be paying significantly lower stamp duty and less in agent costs, and for people upsizing, it’ll be more affordable to do because the gap between what is being sold and bought will be reduced.
If weighing in as a financially stable first home buyer, this is one of the best opportunities the market has offered to get on the property ladder in quite some time. When this is added to the fact that cash rates are at a historical low, and prices should begin to climb again once the economy stabilises, this does present as a potentially rewarding time to invest. Michael Muncy agrees, saying that for some, this environment will provide opportunity to achieve long held property goals.
Macquarie Wealth Management supports the theory on both the property industry and price recovery. In a recent report they were quoted as saying “Looking past the crisis, the significant easing in monetary policy, which is likely to be in place for a few years, could see a swift rebound in established housing activity and prices once the virus passes. Repayment affordability has improved markedly as interest rates have fallen.”
Although we look forward to the relaxing of social restrictions you can be assured that Noel Jones will continue to adapt and evolve our processes to give the highest level of service in all situations.