What Melbourne’s fifth lockdown means for real estate

Auction pic

Melbourne will enter its fifth lockdown from midnight on Thursday, sending the weekend’s auctions into disarray. Nicki Connolly

Victoria will enter a fifth lockdown from midnight Friday, throwing auction plans into disarray once again.

Public auctions and inspections will be banned, with only virtual versions allowed to proceed.

Premier Daniel Andrew has announced that from 11.59pm tonight until 11.59pm on Tuesday there will be only five reasons to leave home.

They include shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and caregiving, exercise and getting vaccinated.

But Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) president Leah Calnan said she was confident the industry would pivot and power through another shutdown with virtual auctions set to return.

Fronting the media on Thursday, Mr Andrews said “you only get one chance to go hard and go fast” to stop the spread of the virus.

“This will be a hard lockdown similar to or identical to what we did a couple of weeks ago,” Mr Andrews said.

“If you were closed then, you will be closed now.”

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Auction pic

Auctions are set to pivot online again this weekend as Victoria enters its fifth lockdown. Picture: Nicki Connolly

Ray White Blackburn agent Chris Smout said his agency had already been contacting buyers throughout the day on Thursday and registering them for online bidding.

“I think the demand will carry through – we’ve had really good success in the last couple of lockdowns where properties have sold in excess of the reserve, so I don’t think it hinders it at all,” he said.

“Some (buyers) probably even prefer it because they aren’t in a pressure cooker situation – this way they can sit in their living room and bid online comfortably.

He said they “know how to do it and we’ve done it well” in the past.

Real Estate sale sign

About 1170 homes were set to go under the hammer this weekend.

Ms Calnan said each lockdown “affected consumer confidence” but with more than 4000 auctions scheduled for the month, demand for property was still high.

“We know the property market throughout July is performing extremely well … but agents will make the necessary changes,” she said.

She added that the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 situation continued to make people rethink where they wanted to live.

About 1167 homes were scheduled go under the hammer this week, according to realestate.com.au.

— with Christina Karras.

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