Coronavirus: Auctions and open for inspections allowed amid Victoria shutdown

Coronavirus: Auctions and open for inspections allowed amid Victoria shutdown nmprofetimg 1419

Melbourne’s real estate industry has been given the green light to kick on amid the state shutdown.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria confirmed with the state government that auctions were still able to go ahead and agencies could remain open, for now.

REIV president Leah Calnan told the Herald Sun the industry was well prepared if there were drastic changes in the future.

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Auctions will kick on across Melbourne despite the state shutdown. Picture: Tim Carrafa

“We could see more in-room auctions or a registration process to limit group sizes,” Ms Calnan said.

“Technology will also play a part … people can bid over the phone, and cameras can help with routine inspections or showing prospective tenants through properties for rent.”

She said the state government’s budget would be majorly hit by a real estate shutdown.

“If there is a reduced volume of stock for sale, the biggest impact will be felt by the government because of how much they collect from the industry through stamp duty and land tax,” she said.

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Buyers practised social distancing at a Lalor auction. Picture: Tim Carrafa

Melbourne’s clearance rate dropped from 71 per cent to 65 per cent in the past week, according to realestate.com.au.

But auction streaming and online bidding service Gavl reported a 200 per cent increase in traffic over the past two weeks.

The website and app allows users to digitally inspect properties, watch and bid at auctions across Australia and New Zealand, sign contracts and pay deposits.

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A Beaumaris home that’s scheduled for auction on Saturday, March 28.

Gavl chief executive Joel Smith said these figures should “give the industry confidence and reassurance that there is a way forward”.

“Vendors who are selling or need to sell at the moment (should note) there is a way to engage and attract buyers while making sure health and safety is at the forefront of people’s minds,” Mr Smith said.

Most real estate agencies have changed their processes to limit crowds and maintain healthy environments while working alongside the public.

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Harcourts auctioneer Daniel Galea practised elbow taps. Picture: Tim Carrafa

Ray White agencies have swapped handshakes for jazz hands, while other agencies were only allowing three groups in to inspect a property at a time.

The Herald Sun has contacted the state government on whether there were any plans to shut down auctions and open for inspections.

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