• Tim McGoldrick

2021 - A bull market met by a lockdown

Who would have thought that a global pandemic would create the strongest property market that I have ever seen in my 16 year career as an agent on the South Coast.

Buyer demand has outstripped supply for the past 18 months, and now in the middle of another lockdown and amid the Delta variants rampage in NSW, stock continues to be an issue. But this time it feels a little different.

In the 2020 NSW Covid-19 lock down, we saw an exodus from Sydney to regional NSW, with working from home being a common trend for a lot of people who traditionally needed to live in close proximity to the city. You now no longer needed to live where you worked and like many parts of NSW, the Shoalhaven property market took off for both sales and rentals, and the trend continued well into 2021.

We have seen an increase in properties prices of almost 30% in some areas, in the past year alone. It's mind boggling, and buyers constantly bring up how they wish they didn't sit on the fence when looking early last year.

What does that mean for the 2021 lockdown. It's hard to say right now. The permit system to enter regional NSW has slowed parts of the market, but has created huge demand in others.

Is it a good time to sell a house in town? Yes, I would 100% be bringing your property to market right now. Local buyers are making the most of this opportunity as they have the ability to move a lot quicker than their usual big city competition. Buyers are spending up, occasionally going above asking price to secure their home. I've also heard of quiet a few homes being bought sight unseen, relying on a FaceTime call or having relatives inspect on their behalf.

Is it a good time to sell a lifestyle property? Personally, I would be using this time to get prepared to come to market closer to lockdowns lifting. Typically you aren't selling to a local buyer, and the buyer who would be looking at your home is looking for a weekender or something they can use for short stay accomodation. Currently under the permit system, these buyers shouldn't be travelling to regional NSW to look at property, so your market becomes very small resulting in less inspections and longer days on market.

Is it a good time to sell a farm? This could go either way. There have been some terrific results achieved during this lockdown for larger acreages. The supply of farms to the market has been so few, that when something does come up, buyers are jumping on them. You could benefit from waiting, but with no competition from other sellers, you could also get a fantastic result right now.

The general consensus is that once lockdowns lift, we will see a flood of buyers eager to leave Sydney again and demand for every part of the market will be high.

With local covid cases having a little spike right now, I think it's probably also important to understand what our business is doing to help protect our community, our clients and our staff.

It is currently a requirement for all buyers entering regional NSW from Greater Sydney to have a permit issued from ServiceNSW for the purpose of inspecting real estate. The catch is that you need to have a genuine need for a home to live in and you can not be looking for an investment property (including a holiday home or commercial real estate). Permits can be found on the ServiceNSW website or by clicking here.

Within our business, we are requesting copies of permits prior to inspections and any potential buyer who does not provide this is denied an inspection. We are also having all buyers scan a ServiceNSW QR code before entering the property, wearing face masks and providing sanitiser at every inspection.

We have also invested in a Matterport 360 virtual tour camera to help those stuck in lockdowns access our properties from the comfort of their own home. Check out one of our virtual tours below.

We are currently not allowed to hold open homes, so inspections are strictly by appointment and are a 1 on 1 inspection with the agent through the home.

I hope this little write up can help you if you're thinking about selling. If you have any questions, as always give me a call on 0414 157 794 or shoot me a message using the contact form on this website.

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