CORONAVIRUS may have caused havoc in many aspects of everyday life but real estate experts say South Australians still have every reason to buy and sell with confidence.
The SA property market has slowed since the virus hit but according to real estate agents, buyers are still out in force, and those looking to sell should act now.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said as the conditions surrounding coronavirus were changing, buyers and sellers needed to take it day by day.
“This is a short-term health crisis and it’s likely that with all the stimulus in the market, the economy will roar back into strong economic growth once the pandemic abates,” Ms Conisbee said.
“The residential sector hasn’t been significantly affected just yet, and if we look forward to spring, it’s likely the property market will surge ahead on the back of unprecedented stimulus being put into the economy and a return to normalcy for buyers and sellers.”
The Real Estate Institute of South Australia and the Society of Auctioneers and Appraisers (SA) said in a joint statement real estate agents were still selling, albeit with a few changes necessary to ensure the community’s safety.
“Obviously business must be conducted differently and REISA and the society are excited at all the innovation and lateral thinking that agencies are showing in being able to continue to conduct their business with as little disruption as possible,” the statement said.
Harcourts SA chief executive Gregg Toyama said agents were changing the way they served their clients to overcome challenges the virus created.
“At opens, agents are putting hygiene services at each of their open inspections, they’re limiting the amount of people entering homes, they’re encouraging more private viewings as opposed to public open inspections, they’re doing house tours and rental inspections by Skype and we’re using digital forms,” Mr Toyama said. And while the situation was changing rapidly, on last weekend’s performance alone, South Australians should still feel confident to buy and sell, he said.
“People still need somewhere to live, we’ve got record low interest rates, low vacancy rates for rentals and up until last weekend still felt strong buyer inquiry,” Mr Toyama said. “Where we are seeing a bit of a fall-off is in the listing stage.” Ouwens Casserly Real Estate managing director Nathan Casserly said his agency, as with others, was adjusting its operating procedures to meet government recommendations.
“Our team is still getting properties sold and they’re continuing to bring new properties to the market next week,” Mr Casserly said. “It might be a somewhat adjusted strategy … I would never say it’s business as usual, but absolutely business is continuing on.”
He said Adelaide’s history of strong performance during tough market conditions would hold it in good stead to weather this current storm.
“Over all the market downturns we’ve seen throughout history – globally and nationally – Adelaide has always been the most resilient market,” he said.
“From an overall sales perspective, things are still looking really positive.
“We are actually seeing much greater urgency in the marketplace.
“Current vendors are looking to bring their sales forward and people are looking to buy sooner than initially planned.”
Among the many SA sellers undeterred by the impact of COVID-19 is Bill Verco, who is launching his 10 Blyth St, Glen Osmond home to the market through LJ Hooker Kensington/Unley’s Chrissy Esau next week.
Despite the uncertainty coronavirus was causing he was confident it was a good time to sell.
“With property, it’s ‘location, location, location’, and I feel a good property will sell well in any market, and it’s a stable long-term investment for someone looking to take some money out of the stock market before it goes down further and stick it in a solid investment they can cherish for many years,” Mr Verco said.
Williams Real Estate’s John Williams said SA real estate presented better value than ever and that significant market disruptions traditionally preceded an influx of ex-pats.
“Why did the stock market have its best day in 23 years the other day – it’s because stock is still valuable and houses are still valuable,” he said.
“I think the ex-pats are going to start buying soon – they always buy when the dollar crashes.
“The brave sellers and the ones who have confidence in the value of their property – I don’t see why they won’t get a very good result because properties probably present even better value now than they ever have.”
Freedom Property Investors chief analyst Lianna Pan, said with more than $120 billion wiped off the ASX and more than $6 trillion wiped off the world stock exchange in just one week, the stock market’s volatility would drive investors to bricks and mortar.
“We have seen this with the GFC and while I am not saying that we are looking at a similar fallout, I do believe that we will see a push toward property from otherwise diversified or stock-focused investors,” Ms Pan said.
“This will make a notable impact on availability of properties and hence drive prices up,” Ms Pan said.
“While the rate reduction is creating favourable economic conditions for property buyers and investors alike, I think we are at the outset of seeing massive buyer activity for real estate.
“This means those who take action sooner than later will not only see an upward shift in property values, but benefit from it.”
Real Estate Institute of South Australia and the Society of Auctioneers and Appraisers (SA) statement on coronavirus:
“Following the recent announcement of the Prime Minister and the significant advancements in Australia’s fight against COVID-19, the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) and the Society of Auctioneers and Appraisers (SA) have developed the following guidelines in relation to the real estate profession in South Australia.
Firstly, REISA and the Society are consulting daily with their members as circumstances change. For example, REISA has included advice in its newsletter to members in response to the many inquiries and concerns that it has been receiving.
REISA and SAA have also undertaken a webinar with property management specialists to answer questions and provide advice on the different measures various agencies have done in relation to this crisis.
Secondly, the real estate profession is continuing with a ‘business as usual’ stance.
Obviously business must be conducted differently and REISA and the Society are excited at all the innovation and lateral thinking that agencies are showing in being able to continue to conduct their business with as little disruption as possible.
The use of technology – such as virtual inspections, tablet sign-ins and attendance sheets – rotation and splitting of teams and the provision of detailed COVID-19 and Government health advice to clients is being adopted in all agencies.
Agencies are reporting that clients are satisfied with these measures and are behaving appropriately in these times.
This is a fast-moving changing set of circumstances and REISA and the Society will continue to abide by Government statements and recommendations as they develop.”