Buyers are showing a willingness to act early to navigate restrictions

  • Written by Tim McKibbin, CEO, Real Estate Institute of NSW

The resilience of the market during lockdown has been a welcome good news story in  otherwise worrying times.

Clearance rates have been holding firm and while more properties than normal are  being withdrawn prior to auction, those vendors who stay the course are still achieving solid prices.

The steady clearance rate figure is supported by a greater proportion of properties  selling prior to auction, compared to non-lockdown periods. Buyers are showing a  willingness to act early to navigate restrictions, and we can expect more of the same this  week.

Recent research from CoreLogic has reinforced some of the other lockdown trends  agents have been noticing.

For instance, while values remain resilient through lockdown, buying activity and  advertised listings tend to decline, only to rebound rapidly once restrictions ease.

The underlying supply shortage is a factor here too, as the CoreLogic research suggests  demand is largely unaffected by lockdowns. Those intent on purchasing are unlikely to  deter a property purchase altogether because of lockdown unless incomes have been  significantly impacted.
For this reason, Government stimulus remains an important mechanism.

It’s encouraging that Government, at least on the surface, appears to acknowledge it’s  inappropriate for landlords to foot the bill as they did last time. However, like the rest of  the industry, the REINSW awaits the fine print on the rebate scheme to be offered to  landlords whose tenants are in financial distress as a result of the latest lockdown.