What SA’s snap Covid-19 lockdown means for the real estate industry

SA’s snap seven-day lockdown has brought in new restrictions for the real estate industry.

On-site auctions and open inspections are banned across South Australia for at least the next seven days as part of a snap lockdown to stop the spread of a growing Covid-19 cluster.

But instead of cancelling all auctions planned for the next week, many agents have decided to proceed with them online.

Ray White SA chief auctioneer John Morris said any auctions he had scheduled throughout the lockdown period, which starts at 6pm on Tuesday, would go ahead online.

“Every single one of my auctions that was going ahead this weekend is still going ahead,” he said.

The city of Adelaide viewed from the leafy eastern suburbs

Online auctions are still allowed across SA during lockdown.

“And I’ve picked up a few more as well.

“I’ve got an office set up at home for this.

“I think I’ve now called over 100 online auctions (since the first lockdown) because there are a few agents who have continued online.

“I think we’re used to it, everyone has pretty much got used to it.”

Harcourts SA chief executive Gregg Toyama said while the new state government restrictions limited movement in the community, the real estate industry wouldn’t come to a standstill.

“The majority of agents will still be working through, following all the Covid-19 lockdown rules,” he said.

“They’ll still be taking calls and answering questions.

“Some may go to online auctions or they’ll just wait or postpone.”

Mr Toyama said the state had been through similar lockdown situations and proved cooperative and resilient before so could do it again.

Turner Real Estate chief executive Emma Slape said there was still uncertainty about certain matters, including settlements and tenancies due to start or end in the next week.

“People won’t be able to move out of one home into another,” she said.

“At this stage we’re still waiting for advice on whether settlements will occur.”

Ms Slape said her agency was also contacting tenants due to move in the next week to ensure they had somewhere safe to stay during the lockdown period.

SA Covid-19 lockdown Q&A

Responses supplied by Real Estate Institute of South Australia chief executive Barry Money.

Please note these responses represent REISA’s current understanding of restrictions and

limitations. Those seeking clarification should visit the SA Government website: covid-


Q: Are open inspections and auctions banned in SA, and from when?

A: Yes from 6pm Tuesday, July 20.

Q: Can I still hold private inspections and online auctions?

A: Private inspections are banned. Online auctions are fine provided they are

conducted from home.

Q: Can I still lease or rent out my holiday home? 

A: Difficult, as you will be unable to have appraisals or open inspections.

Q: Can I move house during lockdown in SA?

A: We are awaiting further advice.

Q: Can I move interstate during lockdown in SA?

A: No.

Q: Can I have tradies over to my house for urgent work? 

A: It depends on whether tradies conduct “essential work” for health, safety and wellbeing reasons. These include works on electricity, gas, water, sewerage,

drainage and liquid fuels and refinery operations; waste and recycling services

(including collection, treatment and disposal services and transfer stations), but

only those services that are provided to commercial contractors; and construction,

maintenance and repair of essential infrastructure. Locksmiths are also regarded

as essential.

Q: Can I still continue with my new house build?  

A: No, unless it is defined as “essential work”.

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