Time for the hammer to fall again

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has asked the Victorian Government to consider a relaxation of restrictions on public auctions and open for inspections in the real estate sector at the earliest appropriate time.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria President Leah Calnan has called for the Victorian Government to follow the lead of the NSW Government and ease the ban on publicly held auctions.

The New South Wales Government recently lifted its restrictions on publicly held auctions following a drop in Coronavirus infections, with their auction activity set to resume this weekend.

Property transactions are a fundamental element of the Victorian economy.   The real estate sector  employs thousands of Victorians and property transactions contribute over 45% of the state’s taxation revenue.

Victorian auctions have only been able to be held online since the restrictions were put in place, with most property transactions reverting to private treaty sales.

REIV President Leah Calnan said public auctions and open for inspections should be allowed to be conducted with strict rules in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Sales and rental opens for inspections and public auctions can safely operate with crowd restrictions, social distancing and other measures; the easing of these restrictions would inspire confidence in our market.” Ms Calnan said.

“Melbourne is the auction capital of Australia, with people from all over the country monitoring our auction results with great interest.”

“The real estate profession has been ahead of the game in responding to Covid-19 restrictions.   With the flattening of the curve it is time to ease the restrictions on the real estate industry and help kick start the stimulus for our state’s economy.”

“Earlier this year Victoria was averaging almost 1000 auctions per week.  While estate agents have adapted really well in transitioning to on-line auctions, the number of auctions held has falled significantly over the last month.   Auction numbers have now reduced to around a 100-150 per week, maintaining strong clearance rates of over 70%.

“Property transactions are a critical factor in a strong economy. The strong clearance rates and the level in interest in attending private inspections shows there is still a strong demand in the market.”

“An active property market is a key building block for economic growth and auctions are the most visible way of re-building consumer confidence.”

“Public auctions can be conducted in a safe and responsible manner.  The real estate sector is willing to work with the State Government to gradually progress to ‘normal’ levels of activity.”

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