The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) is urging the State Government to allow one-on-one inspections, noting the recently announced extension of Victoria’s fifth lockdown will wreak havoc on the real estate industry.
On Tuesday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the current lockdown would be extended seven days and is now slated to end on Tuesday, July 27.
That’s likely to have a dire impact for real estate, according to the (REIV) who note one-on-one inspections should be considered.
One-on-one inspections with an agent would allow people to buy, sell or lease under strict and COVID-safe conditions, as seen in other regions during previous lockdowns, the REIV said.
They note Greater Sydney has allowed one-on-one inspections amid their ongoing lockdowns.
REIV also reminded the Victorian Government that the property industry has proven protocols in place since the first lockdowns began in 2020.
REIV CEO, Gil King said without inspections, buying and leasing property is far too difficult and keeps many people out of appropriate housing.
“Vendors and rental providers are being pushed to the brink despite the sector having tried and tested procedures in place for inspections by appointment,” Mr King said.
“We understand and respect that the larger gatherings with public auctions and open houses may cause concern, but private one-on-one inspections are free from significant risk,” he said.
“We are seeing firsthand the mounting stress for people who are unable to find appropriate accommodation during an already difficult time,” he said.
REIV President, Leah Calnan said that when people sell, buy or rent a property, they are making some of the most significant financial decisions of their lives.
“It’s unfathomable to expect people to lease or buy a property without seeing it,” Ms Calnan said.
“The removal of this key component of real estate due diligence is making things extremely difficult for everyday Victorians.”
However, even with one-on-one appointments, Greater Sydney’s conditions aren’t faultless.
Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) chief executive officer Leanne Pilkington said Sydney agents are struggling to bring new properties to the market.
“Agents in Sydney are able show one potential buyer, or tenant, through a property at a time however are challenged with not being able to actually bring new properties to market unless they can do it virtually,” she said.
“Although listing new properties doesn’t sound like essential work, there are certainly situations when vendors have very real financial or personal concerns and need to sell as a matter of urgency.
“Agents are getting very creative in their approaches to assisting these owners to bring their properties to market virtually.”