In some positive news last week we found out that private inspections will be allowed at vacant properties once Victoria gets to the 70% vaccination threshold, which they initially forecast for the 23rd September but it might even happen a few days earlier.

We still don’t have clarity around occupied properties but a reasonable assumption would be that inspections of occupied homes will be allowed to commence once we reach an 80% vaccination rate.

Nevertheless, we have plenty of vacant properties that are ready to hit the market from the 23rd September and we’re expecting a flood of buyers to engorge Stonnington and absorb all the existing and new stock at a very rapid pace.

We will be spending several hours each week at each property facilitating one-on-one inspections (safely) with the view to hold Zoom Auctions where applicable around two weeks after the property has launched.

We may see a few more ‘Expressions of Interest’ campaigns, which give us the flexibility to either convert to auction or sell on or before the EOI closing date.

One of the few positives of living in lockdown and working from home is the increased flexibility from our customers who are happy to attend inspections and auctions on pretty much any day of the week and even during business hours.

We plan to hold most of our Zoom Auctions on weekday afternoons and evenings to free up Saturdays for buyers (and ourselves) to attend inspections.

Even with potential buyers and onlookers needing to register to attend our Zoom Auctions we’ve seen crowds of upwards of 80 people logging in to observe or participate.

There is now absolutely no doubt that Zoom auctions are just as effective as on-site auctions and do not deter or detract buyers from competing or adversely affect the end sale price, albeit with a very different and more casual atmosphere that public auctions.

In fact, many buyers seem to be more at ease bidding from the comfort of their living room than braving the gaze of 100 nosy neighbours on the street!

That said, it is likely that many properties won’t even make it to auction if strong offers are forthcoming early on in the campaign and vendors are willing to negotiate pre-auction.

Our wonderful vendors who are currently on the market or about to launch have shown great flexibility and patience during this extended lockdown and will be justly rewarded with strong prices this Spring.

One could incorrectly assume that all this uncertainty, restrictions on movement and obstacles to our normal way of doing business would dampen the market but the complete opposite has been true.

Paradoxically, as I’ve said time and time again, the lockdowns have only further stoked demand and constricted supply. Prices continue to rise.

As a buyer you really have two options: wait and see what the next six months holds and hope that supply picks up and competition calms down; or try and get in sooner rather than later in the expectation that the market could climb another 5, 10 or 15 percent by Easter.

Either way, if you are wanting to buy this Spring or Summer you would be well served to be very proactive – inspect any properties of interest as soon as you can, re-inspect shortly thereafter if necessary and get your ducks in a row so that you are in a position to offer or compete on very short notice. Have your conveyancer on standby and your deposit liquid. Don’t miss out because you’re not ready.

If you need some advice either buyer or selling feel free to reach out.

Kind regards,

David.

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