What does “non-essential services” mean for the real estate industry?
In the past few days, Daniel Andrews has announced that Victoria will cease all non-essential activities in our state to combat the spread of coronavirus. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) sought to clarify the definition of “essential services” as many questions remained unanswered after this announcement.
The REIV have now confirmed that real estate deals can continue working at this time. Auctions, property inspections, and sales can continue, but it is important that health advice is followed. Should a company choose to remain open, it must change labor practices to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Recommendations included improved hygiene, maintaining social distance, and limiting the number of people allowed in an open house at any given time.
Adrian Kelly, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), said while recognizing the trade impact this will have, it is important that the entire industry work together and support the government and its efforts to disseminate it Decrease Covid-19.
“As an industry, we are all in need together and the sooner we all do what needs to be done, the sooner we can return to a more normal real estate market,” he said.
REIA recommendations for house inspections and public auctions
- House inspections: All inspections should now be conducted as private one-on-one meetings, combined with the appropriate protective measures recommended by the health authorities (increased sanitation and social distance).
- Public auctions: All public auctions should now be conducted by phone or through one of the many available online auction platforms. The real estate industry should show ingenuity during this time.
The situation is evolving, so it is important that you review your work practices and monitor the advice every day.
Current interest rates and auction release rates
Last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its key rate unprecedentedly, changing it to a record low of 0.25% in an unscheduled meeting to ease the burden on the industry. It is expected to remain at this level until progress towards full employment is made, and the RBA is confident that inflation within the 2-3% target range will be sustainable.
Although auction rates continue to decline, they are still higher than last year, indicating that the market is not yet stable. The agents refused to shake hands and encouraged bidders to keep their distance at auctions, but visitor numbers remained high and many homes were sold above the reserve.
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