We received terrific news in Melbourne yesterday with some COVID-19 restrictions easing which included private inspections for real estate now a permitted activity.  This is welcoming news for vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants.  It is also our understanding that any necessary marketing services are also allowed (being photographers, videographers and stylists) which means we should see many new listings come onto the market.

There are strict safety requirements that must be adhered to with private inspections limited to one agent and one prospective purchaser or tenant who may be accompanied by one other person from an existing household or their partner.

The agent must confirm with the occupier of the property prior to the inspection to ensure they are not symptomatic, self-isolating or under quarantine prior to attending the property. The person who is occupying house must leave the property for the inspection for one of the four reasons under the stay at home directions during the inspection.

The agent is required to have all the internal and external doors open during the inspection so the property is well ventilated.  Face coverings must be worn at all times and physical distancing is to be maintained.

Any surfaces touched during the inspection are to be disinfected by the agent at the end of the inspection however it is required that any touching of surfaces is to be kept to an absolute minimum.  Hand sanitiser must be provided by the agent and the prospective tenant or purchaser must use it prior to entering the property.

We will see many online auctions for the remainder of this year and we may have some onsite auctions with limited numbers before the year is out.

We could also see some changes in lending very soon as the government last week announced they are reviewing lending regulations with the aim to simplify the lending process. The current process due to the Royal Commission and COVID-19 has become more intrusive and difficult. The bottom line is the government is wanting to increase credit which translates into more spending.  These changes will increase buyer demand and combined with low interest rates makes it a very attractive time to buy.

We are very much looking forward to a very busy week.  Hope you have a great week too.

Kim Easterbrook

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