The times have been challenging and health and safety is at the front of everyone’s thoughts and priorities. COVID19 will pass and as we look forward to the future it is important to reflect on what we can do to navigate the path now and assess the current market sentiment. There are still many people taking action to buy, sell or rent and one thing that will remain consistent, people will always need a roof over their head. Property now more than ever will be a precious asset that is tangible and if you are fortunate enough to buy and hold it is an asset that is reliable with long term growth regardless what happens in the short term 6 to 12 month period. The wise investors always secure property at fair and reasonable prices to occupy, upsize, downsize, invest or expand the portfolio when competition is less fierce.
The REIV and PropertyData.com.au have provided great resources and information in consultation with State Government and Consumer Affairs Victoria to support agents and all stakeholders prepare and implement the best outcomes during these challenging times for tenants, landlords, buyers and sellers. Some of the data and support processes are listed in this news post and individuals can contact their agents or relevant government departments to seek further assistance.
The Victorian real estate sector, like most of the economy, saw a significant change in working conditions from late March 2020. The Government announced a series of restrictions on social gatherings including a ban on public auctions, restrictions on inspections and more. The sector quickly adapted to the new environment to ensure that people are still able to make informed choices about their homes.
Victorian Sales and Auction Results Week Ending Sat 18th April
In this news issue:
- REIV March Quarter 2020 Median Prices and Residential Sales Report
- RTA Tenancy Laws Amendment
- Residential and Commercial Rent Relief Package Information
- Coronavirus: Update
An overview of measures put in place by some service providers, government bodies and the REIV
- Moonee Valley City Council business updates – Economic Development E-connect Newsletter
- COVID19 Updates and Outlooks reported by RealEstate.com.au
Residential Property Sales in March 2020
REIV March Quarter 2020 Median Prices
The Government agrees to postpone new amendment of RTA (Residential Tenancy Act) laws
On Wednesday 22 April, the REIV made the following announcement to its members.
|The Govt. agrees to postpone new RTA laws
I am pleased to advise that we have just spoken with the Minister’s office and as expected and strongly advocated, the Government will tomorrow propose to the Victorian Parliament to change the commencement date of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act to no later than 1 January 2021.
|This means that if conditions improve earlier, the government could proclaim an earlier date for commencement than 1 January 2021. Regardless, this is a welcome relief for the real estate profession and allows us to focus on current matters.
The strength and engagement of our membership has been crucial in achieving some of the very important outcomes we have achieved over the last couple of weeks.
I assure you that the REIV is working tirelessly to support you during these challenging times and we all appreciate your support.
Stay safe, stay healthy
Fact Sheet on Commercial Leasing Principles – COVID-19
COVID19 – Residential Tenant Rental Payment Assistance Request Form
In order to limit confusion and stress for many tenants, agents and landlords with communication relating to which residential tenants may or may not be eligible for rental payment assistance or relief due to COVID19. It would be reasonable for landlords and agents to request that tenant’s requesting relief in this time seek and make applications to secure state or federal government assistance to support loss of income and employment as well as be asked to provide answers on the attached forms that will help assess the need for assistance or negotiate a plan on rental adjustment to be calculated moving forward to get back on track once the COVID19 crisis is behind us.
An overview of measures put in place by some service providers, government bodies and the REIV
|VCAT In the interest of public safety and in an effort to implement social distancing measures, VCAT has moved to conducting hearings by telephone. As a result, VCAT venues will be closed to the public until further notice.
· Face-to-face hearings, and all non-critical matters have been adjourned for the time being
· Residential Tenancies and Guardianship matters (and a small number of other critical matters) will be heard by telephone. VCAT will contact impacted parties regarding their matters
· VCAT is still conducting its work and users are encouraged to contact 1300 01 8228 to discuss their matters.
Follow VCAT News for updates.
|Government agencies and other service providers· Realestate.com.au : The REA Group has advised agents of the measures they are putting in place like re-loading any listing that has been taken off the market at no charge to the vendor/agent, extending the listing duration should a property fail to sell in the initial duration and deferring rate increases. Please contact them directly for further information.
· ATO: Assistance regarding tax obligations.
· Banks: Assistance regarding mortgage payments.
· Fair Work Ombudsman :
Coronavirus (COVID19) latest Coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia
Australian Government Department of Health
Moonee Valley City Council business updates – Economic Development E-connect Newsletter
On a local level Mark Errichiello has been involved with the local traders of Essendon for several years and is the current Chairman of the Essendon North Village Traders Association representing over 165 traders in the community that are all experiencing tough times at present and what we will all face together that is still to come. Now more than ever it is important to shop and support local, despite COVID19, many local businesses have adapted to take away and online remote shopping for products and services. Love your local village now is a phrase with more significance so that once we make it through to the other side of this, our greatly loved and appreciated local businesses and traders that make our great local community culture are still there for us all to enjoy and support.
Moonee Valley City Council business updates. Our E-connect Newsletter aims to provide business support and continuity through the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Subscribe here to receive our E-connect newsletter and Business Alerts
What you will receive:
E-connect newsletter. Currently distributed weekly (during COVID-19 State of Emergency) support and advice to business in easily navigable links, includes useful business information such as webinars, business grants, and tips and tools to help your business. Business Updates timely, brief update emails on important changes or information as they arise.
The Moonee Valley Council have already been hosting weekly webinars to keep in touch and assist local businesses keep informed and aware of subsidies that are now available to them via government.
• Outline of the Current Stimulus Packages available
• Effect on different business structures
• How to access the Packages
• Sole Traders – what’s available for you
• Casual Workers – what’s available for you
• Working from home
• Think outside the box
Stay tuned with the MVCC for proposed grant applications to be opened to local business owners to receive COVID19 support funding in addition to available state and federal business grants and subsidies.
For more information about other support from Council during this difficult time please see the MVCC COVID-19 Business support webpage. The business community can make direct contact with the Economic Development team via firstname.lastname@example.org or 9243 8866 to seek further support or information.
Business Development Officer
Phone 9243 1038 | Email email@example.com
ENV Traders Association Chairman
Some COVID19 Updates and Outlooks reported by RealEstate.com.au
It’s clear that COVID-19 is going to impact every part of the economy – social distancing is preventing people from going about their everyday lives in terms of work, recreation, travel and spending time with family and loved ones. But like other downturns, some industries will bounce back more rapidly than others.
The real estate industry could bounce back quickly for two reasons: it has not yet been forced into a full shutdown; and the cost of borrowing is the lowest it has ever been.
While the time lag in receiving official data means we are yet to get a grasp on the economic impact of COVID-19, private sector data is certainly going some way toward filling in the blanks.
What impacts are we seeing right now?
Consumer confidence has slumped to record lows
Weekly consumer confidence data from ANZ shows consumer confidence has slipped to record low levels over recent weeks, lower than during the Global Financial Crisis in 2007 and the 1991 recession. While consumer confidence has bounced back over the past two weeks following the announcement of the Jobkeeper package, it remains at recessionary levels.
Business confidence also slumped to record lows in March, according to the National Australia Bank’s monthly survey.
Australians have tightened their purse strings
Regular data on bank card expenditure shows that consumer behaviour has changed. With consumers unable to eat out, we are seeing much more expenditure on food from supermarkets rather than expenditure on eating out. Discretionary spending has also slowed significantly as people stay in their homes.
Unemployment is on the rise
Indeed’s weekly data on new and total job listings shows both metrics have recorded significant falls over recent weeks, as the economy slows and businesses are unable to function due to lockdowns and closures.
New Treasury figures this week predict the jobless rate will double in the June quarter from 5.1 per cent to 10 per cent, its highest rate in almost three decades with 1.4 million Australians expected to be out of work. It would be the first time the unemployment rate has hit double digits since April 1994.
There are signs the property market is slowing
In terms of the property market, we have seen a moderate fall in search activity on the Buy section of realestate.com.au since its peak in February. There has also been a slowdown in the number of new properties being listed for sale. We have also witnessed a big shift away from selling at auction with agents now withdrawing properties for sale or reverting to other sale methods, such as online auctions.
So what does a potential recovery look like for Australia?
Australians will be desperate to get out and about
People will want to get back to some kind of normalcy once the pandemic is over. Australians will be keen to get back to the office, eat out at restaurants, watch live sport and perhaps plan a holiday. However, the big question will be whether businesses that offer these goods and services will be able to re-open immediately. Some will and some likely won’t, but I expect the demand for these products and services will initially be strong post COVID-19.
The property market could rebound rapidly
While real estate is still open for business during COVID-19, people aren’t used to buying sight unseen – although agents are now adopting the use of virtual tours.
On the flip side, people are confined to their homes, which means they not only have more time to look at properties, but they also might be looking for a change of scenery. As mentioned, search activity on the Buy section of realestate.com.au is down from its peak in February, but it’s up 14 per cent compared to this time last year, which suggests there is demand out there.
Overall, it is reasonable to expect that pent up demand, alongside record low interest rates, will boost the property market once normalcy returns.
Tourism, education and virus-hit businesses will suffer
Some sectors, particularly those exposed to international tourism, seem unlikely to rebound quickly post COVID-19. While Australia is currently containing the spread of the virus reasonably well, it’s certainly not the case in other countries. Given this, I would predict overseas travel will be one of the last industries to re-open after the pandemic.
If this is the case, there would be a roll on affect for the higher education sector and international tourism to Australia, but the latter may be partially offset by the fact that Australians could be unable or unwilling to travel overseas.
Meanwhile, virus-hit businesses that have been forced to close their doors for the time being will be more heavily impacted long term than others.
There will be winners and losers in the end
The unofficial data shows COVID-19 is undoubtedly having an impact on all sectors of Australia’s economy, and it will have long-term repercussions for the country.
Clearly some sectors are more COVID-19-proof than others, and there are positive indications the property market could be one of the lucky ones.
The information and resources in this issue were sourced by: The REIV and PropertyData.com.au, Realestate.com.au, Master Advocates Real Estate Services, Moonee Valley City Council