Remaining Realistic, Not Pessimistic
While the coronavirus remains a serious economic and health challenge for Australia, positive signs are beginning to emerge that a significant downturn for regions such as the Southern Sunshine Coast may be avoided.
Real estate body REA Group reports that despite the introduction of new industry guidelines and operational procedures to stop the spread of COVID-19, Australians continue their love affair with property.
Visitation to leading property website realestate.com.au is at an all-time high at more than 1.4 million hits per day while searches for properties to buy and rent are increasing week on week as people forced inside due to the lockdowns conduct research online.
The group’s latest figures paint a promising picture for vendors with searches in the buyer’s section increasing by 5.3% this past week, which is 37% higher than the same period last year. Meanwhile rental searches have increased by nearly 8%.
In this era of social distancing, digital inspections have also increased by 105% and engagement with virtual tours are up 357%, says the REA.
These figures reflect what we are experiencing at Henzells where web traffic and enquiry levels remain very positive, and people are genuine in intent once they decide to act.
An example of this was the sale of two residential lots within hours of them going on the market in Pelican Waters this month.
A professional couple from Rosehill, NSW, purchased a 710sqm lot for $460,000, while a local retiree snapped up the neighbouring 438sqm home site for $370,000.
Both were ex-display village lots in the sought-after Sydney Avenue precinct offering direct access to the emerging Island and Marina district and just short stroll from the Greg Norman designed golf course.
The quick sales demonstrated first hand that good property in prime locations performed strongly in all market conditions.
We believe there is cause for cautious optimism amid this global pandemic. Sales and listings for Caloundra and surrounds were tracking very strongly in the months before the virus took hold, and there are reasons to be confident we will see a return to this trend when the cloud inevitably lifts.
The COVID-19 downturn differs from the GFC of 10 years ago when the banks essentially ran out of money and stopped lending.
In this instance the opposite is true. The banks are strong and supportive, interest rates are at an all-time low and lenders are still keen to offer mortgages – making that V-shaped recovery a realistic scenario.