27 Aug 2021

Summer is the new spring

Buyer’s agents are tipping that this summer’s property market will be the new spring, as two of Australia’s biggest property markets start the season in lockdown.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) president Cate Bakos said while many buyers were motivated, auction listings continue to dwindle, and vendors remain cautious as lockdowns extend.

Ms Bakos said while consumer confidence had softened with increased COVID-19 restrictions in Sydney and Melbourne, the current level of supply and demand was still significant.

She warned buyers in Melbourne and regional Victoria where restrictions prevented buyers from physically inspecting property, not to buy sight unseen.

“It might look good in the video and photographs but there may be a number of serious flaws that aren’t showcased by the selling agency,” said Ms Bakos.

“These can include light, aspect, structural and building defects, room size, low ceilings and doorways and low-quality renovations that photograph well.”

Ms Bakos urged buyers in lockdown locations to be patient and to use this time wisely to do their research and make sure their finance was in place in preparation for when the market reopens.

In Sydney, where one-on-one physical inspections are still being allowed, high demand continues despite the restrictions.

She said buyer’s agents were being rushed off their feet with new enquiries and physical inspections.

“In this market many selling agents are turning to buyer’s agents because they don’t have time for lengthy appointments and they know that buyer’s agents have serious clients who are finance ready,” said Ms Bakos.

“We’re also seeing an increasing number of off-market transactions happening as vendors turn away from the traditional four-week auction campaigns.

“In Sydney, we believe it’s very important for buyers to recognise the pressure that agents and agencies are under whilst managing the one-on-one inspections. Communicating clearly with agents and attending inspections on time has never been more important.

“We envisage the next three months will see more restrictions and further lockdowns impacting the market but anticipate we’ll be gearing up for a very busy, and extended summer property market once restrictions have lifted.”

Simply Gold Coast Property Advisors and REBAA member, Tony Coughran, has seen a sharp increase in the number of interstate buyer enquiry since the lockdowns were announced last month.

“Our enquiry level tripled overnight and hasn’t stopped since New South Wales went into lockdown,” said Mr Coughran.

“Interstate homebuyer interest has been strong all year, but there’s no doubt it’s gone up a gear.

“Queensland has been relatively unaffected by COVID-19 and has been fortunate to have had limited lockdowns which has appealed to southern buyers. They’re motivated for lifestyle reasons and have more flexibility for remote working.”