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Through every economic downturn and financial crisis, properties have continued to be sold and bought, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Buyers who were already looking for their dream home before the crisis hit (or just entering the market), now is not the time to drop off. The market is adjusting to the current climate with great opportunities for buyers to get ahead.
A window of opportunity
The CEO of Belle Property Australasia, Peter Hanscomb, explains that the impact coronavirus is having on the property market, and its potential downturn, is being realised in less volume of properties to market more than a downward pressure on price. Properties are still selling; the shift the real estate market is experiencing is how property is being bought and sold.
“As in all economic downturns, properties will continue to be sold because of life’s needs and circumstance,” says Peter. “Buyers should be keeping a long-term perspective and be looking to get into more desirable suburbs, upsize their homes or even downsize because once COVID-19 passes, the market will rebound.”
Cushioning the blow
Realestate.com.au also reported that the property market could quickly rebound after a short, sharp downtown. That now is the time to be looking for opportunities and focusing on long-term investment. They also state that the government’s financial stimulus and the flexibility from banks during the coronavirus shutdown would help cushion the property market.
“With government measures in place and banks offering greater flexibility, buyers should be weighing their long-term goals and wins over short-term reactive thinking. Now is not the time to overthink, ‘should we or should we not’. There are plenty of opportunities that buyers should be taking advantage of,” Peter says.
A buyer’s market, for now
According to Domain, buyers believe that coronavirus will give them the upper hand, even if for a brief window. Buyers will be able to buy into desirable neighbourhoods that may have been out of their budget previously. They can upsize into larger homes because their budget may stretch that little bit further, and they could negotiate more favourable terms with vendors.
What buyers also need to keep in mind is that their pre-approval status has only a short window before they need to re-apply, which means if the right property comes along, they should buy based on affordability and desirability today, instead of missing out and having to start the whole process again.
“People are naturally going to feel nervous about the property market, it’s to be expected. But one of the positives of the current market is that it could also give first home buyers a real opportunity to get their foot on the property ladder.
“Another positive is that we are beginning to see an increase in buyers and vendors being flexible with their settlement terms, especially with a lot of consideration around isolation periods,” says Peter.
This is also proving to be an excellent time for people who have been on the fence about making a lifestyle change. Realestate.com.au recently reported an increase in people looking to properties that are more isolated, off-the-grid, or based in regional areas.
However the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, properties will continue to sell. And although open homes and public auctions cannot be held, the property industry is agile, and it’s adjusting to the new norm, moving online to virtual open homes, private viewings, off-market sales, virtual auctions and online transactions and settlements.