As restrictions continue to lift in Victoria, outdoor auctions for residential and commercial properties will now be permitted with up to 10 people in attendance while in-person inspections are also back on the agenda for commercial sales and leasing.
Effective as of midnight Sunday, 18 October, the news has been welcomed by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, who note it has been a long and at times tedious battle to see commercial real estate recognised in the same light as residential.
“While we were disappointed with the limits placed on the commercial sector in the first announcements, we welcome the announcements today,” REIV CEO Gil King said.
“This is great news for Victorians and should be seen as a positive and encouraging step towards a return to ‘normal’.”
The REIV explained on 27 September private inspections for sale or lease were allowed for residential properties.
“After weeks of lobbying government, the differentiation between residential and commercial properties was removed in regional Victoria and replaced with a simpler reference to ‘real estate’,” they said.
“The same adjustment was not made in metropolitan Melbourne.
“The REIV was bewildered at the failure to apply the same treatment for residential and commercial properties.
“Even without COVID-19 restrictions it is common practice for commercial properties to be inspected by private appointment. Conducting a private inspection of a commercial property can be done very safely as there is a higher probability the property will be vacant, without people, furniture, or fittings.
“The REIV is pleased that the government has corrected that oversight. The announcement is welcomed by property owners, buyers, tenants and the real estate profession as it will enable the entire sector to resume getting people back to work.”
The REIV explained the commercial real estate sector had been suffering, with many businesses unable to open or trade.
“The ability to commence inspections of commercial properties for sale or lease will help with economic recovery allow business owners to sell, buy or lease properties to rebuild their businesses,” they stated.
“While we await further details, REIV Members are prepared with all safety measures in place to ensure the market can resume in a safe and efficient manner.”
Meanwhile, REIV President Leah Calnan notes noted it was now time for the real estate sector to commence a safe and gradual return to work in order to rebuild the economy step by step.
“This decision is recognition that the real estate profession can be trusted to conduct inspections and auctions in a safe and responsible manner. We have done so previously, and will continue to do so for the benefit of all Victorians,” Ms Calnan said.