Good morning,

The State Government last week announced they will now allow on-site auctions and open for inspections of properties.  This is the first step in resuming back into a normal property market.  The restriction to this allowing only 10 people in the property in addition to staff required to facilitate the auction or inspection.  The contact details of all attendees will also be recorded.

Auction numbers are well down and it appears most agents are sticking to the same schedule of conducting their current online auctions and private sales for properties that are currently listed. However, since the announcement, reported 1500 new properties had been listed online in a rush of vendor activity with some on-site auctions being locked in.  A welcome relief to the current low stock levels we have been facing.

The recent reports from banks of substantial price falls have certainly put fear into ‘some’ buyers.  This fear is not dissimilar to the fear many buyers felt after a scathing 60 Minutes report 18 months ago predicting property price falls of in excess of 20%.  Many buyers at this stage sat on their hands and waited for the market to improve before making the leap to buy.  A move that costed many buyers hundreds of thousands of dollars as the market recovered quickly after the federal election and property prices increased at a rapid rate.

I was keen to hear feedback from selling agents across Melbourne over the weekend in relation to the numbers of buyers attending open for inspections on the weekend and by all accounts, there were many busy opens.  Selling agent Sam Gamon reported 57 groups (mostly first home buyers) on Saturday through a two bedroom 1960’s apartment in Elwood.  There is a flurry of first home buyers in the market hoping their money will be able to buy a little bit more than it would have at the start of the year.   Some open homes were reported to be extremely busy and others were low on numbers.  In some cases the usual 30 minute open times were having to be extended to allow for social distancing and restricted attendee requirements.

Whilst we head into the usual quieter months of winter, I believe we will see conditions similar to what we saw pre-Federal Election with entry level houses and good quality units/apartments selling well under competition but higher end properties and properties that have some compromises will be the ones that may have less buyers.

With many buyers sitting on their hands, the opportunistic buyers are jumping in viewing these conditions as temporary. With Covid-19 numbers remaining low and many people going back to work, we should in the months to come see an increase in activity and in turn we should have an active Spring season.

Have a great week.

Kim Easterbrook

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Pets and Rental Properties

With the new legislation slowly coming into effect one change that is confirmed is the laws around permitting pets to renters.  Pets assist in making a house feel like a home for many.

This legislation commenced on the 2nd March 2020, renters are required to have the landlord’s consent to bring a new pet into the property.  The renter will need to provide a completed pet request form for each pet kept at the property.

The landlord must not unreasonably refuse this request however the landlord is able to apply to VCAT to deny the pet if they deem that the pet is unreasonable in the property.  The landlord will have 14 days to make an application to VCAT.

If the renter has a pet prior to 2nd March 2020 they are not required to obtain consent.

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