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Snap lockdown impacts Melbourne’s property market

By Mo Zeitouneh
What does stage 4 lockdown mean for Melbourne real estate?

Online auctions dominated Melbourne’s property market yesterday after about 900 vendors were left scrambling to reschedule their Saturday sales.

Hundreds of homeowners pushed ahead with sales via virtual platforms or private negotiations, as in-person auctions and property inspections were banned once again.

But Ray White chief executive Stephen Dullens said agents were ready to switch back to online platforms at the last minute, with plenty of experience from 2020.

Ray White auctioneer Alex Ilyin selling 4/25 Bruce Street, Coburg on Saturday.

“Buyers are still out in force, so our advice is to still push ahead with auctions to get the best result,” Mr Dullens said.

“We’ve invested heavily in the technology and vendors are confident and comfortable with it.”

The gamble paid off for scores of sellers, including those at 2/8 Rayner Close in Rowville — the property sold $73,000 above reserve for $773,000 as four bidders competed online.

Barry Plant chief executive Mike McCarthy said some vendors quickly rescheduled their auctions to Friday night.

A Rowville house sold via online auction on Saturday.

Four properties in the agency’s Northcote office all sold under the hammer after being brought forward, including a Preston apartment at 115/35 Plenty Road that sold almost $100,000 above reserve for $605,000.

Huge crowds gathered at 46 Teatree Drive in South Morang house just hours before lockdown to see the house sell $109,000 above reserve for $639,500, Mr McCarthy added.

Advantage Property Consulting director Frank Valentic said pent-up demand and vendor confidence wouldn’t be dented if lockdown ended on Wednesday night.

“Demand for family homes and units with land content is so strong at the moment that I don’t think lockdown is going to impact confidence, unless it gets extended,” Mr Valentic said.

“I think auctions will continue to be flavour of the month unless we get to stage where we consistently can’t to do in-person auctions because lockdowns keep interrupting campaigns.”

Auction volumes are expected to surge for February 20, which was already tipped to be the city’s first Super Saturday event of the year with more than 1000 properties going under the hammer.


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