Real Estate in limbo

Confirmation that Victoria’s real estate market will remain in lockdown until at least 23 September is a further blow to tenants, home buyers, vendors and agents across Victoria.

The minimal easing of restrictions announced yesterday offered no relief for the real estate sector, which faces the same chaos as under last year’s extended Stage 4 restrictions.

With no ability for real estate agents to conduct property inspections or vendors to organise property photographs, styling and professional cleaning, the lockdown restrictions are now severely impacting the real estate industry.

Labor’s handbrake on the real estate market means less certainty for tenants, fewer opportunities for home buyers and ongoing financial pain for agents and the broader real estate industry.

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“Housing is a critical need for everyone and the current extreme restrictions are now depriving people of this. Daniel Andrews is guilty of leaving tenants, home buyers and agents in the lurch with no plan for the future”, Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Neil Angus said.

“The government needs to address this situation immediately and meet with industry bodies to provide a clear way out of the mess it has created” Mr Angus added.

Desperate house hunters have been left in limbo unable to sell, buy or lease property as Melbourne’s sixth lockdown drags on.

Industry heavyweights are now pushing the Victorian Government to permit one-on-one private inspections, arguing if they’re allowed in Sydney where case numbers are higher they should be permitted here.

In-person inspections in greater Melbourne are currently banned, with only virtual ones allowed.

In an open letter to Premier Daniel Andrews this month, REIV chief Gil King said buyers and renters were “flying blind” trying to purchase property or secure leases without physically inspecting first.

Restarting private inspections would help boost government coffers through property tax revenue, he said.

Daniel Andrews, says the opposition, has no plan to support Victoria’s real estate sector, only a plan for longer and harsher lockdowns.

The state’s property industry employs more than 43,000 people, according to the 2016 Census, and generated more than $95.62bn in sales last financial year, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

It also reaped just over $9bn in land tax and stamp duty revenue in 2020-21, according to treasury figures.

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