Your Home Is Your Safe Haven: Could COVID-19 Encourage More Renters To Purchase Property?

Now more than ever we will evaluate what is really important to us. Amongst the chaos and uncertainty, how can we work towards a secure future?  What is the right secure future for us?

There is something very secure about a good old fashioned brick and mortar investment.  

During difficult times it is comforting to return to a home you own. A safe place where you can cultivate your lifestyle and personality in the way that you choose.  Hang those precious memories, paint or wallpaper the walls – or not, it doesn’t matter, you can create your own style, your own sanctuary, your own safe haven.  Owning your own home fulfils fundamental needs as outlined in Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” and for many, their home is a status symbol or a financial vehicle in which to grow wealth and success.

Driven by these fundamental human needs it is vital that we have a practical and financially viable plan to obtain these goals.

How do I know I’m making the right decision to go from renter to owner?

Research, then apply practical financially viable solutions. If you can afford to pay rent, chances are you can afford to pay a mortgage. Run the numbers. Get good financial advice, speak to a financial planner, an accountant, a bank manager and make a plan for the future.  Know what your commitment will cost not just mortgage payments but include stamp duty, rates, insurance and body corporate fees.

The Reserve Bank Australia (RBA) predicts a shortfall in housing (Financial Review, 2019).  With record low-interest rates, record first home buyers, population growth, high immigration* (COVID-19 restrictions will not last forever) and increased renters the data indicates that if you have a secure income that you should consider the following tips and purchase once this immediate unsettling time has passed. Yes, we are experiencing a pandemic with a recession looming but our economy is cyclic.

Buying a medium to long term investment

Over the past 30 years, Australian housing prices have increased on average by 7.25 % per year (RBA, 2015). Statistics historically tell us that provided you are buying a property as a medium or long term investment where you can choose your time to sell you will not lose.  If you are buying a short term prospect you need to do more to ensure a return on investment, such as the following;

* Australia’s population continues to grow and 231,937 people migrated from overseas in 2019 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019).All these people need homes. Head to our website to read more and see the tips we recommend when buying;

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Sparking First Real Conversations With Neighbours

Ipswich couple Vicky and Siamak Mohajerin have lived in their family home, west of Brisbane, for 12 years.

Like many busy Australians, they had only ever exchanged the odd wave or nod to their neighbour out the back — mother-of-six Teressa Leedie — until the coronavirus pandemic began to spread.

“We were at home self-isolating and we realised we don’t know a lot of our neighbours,” Ms Mohajerin said.

“We thought they might be in need, so we put gloves on, got a pen and pad, and took a walk on Sunday afternoon, and gave our neighbours our contact details.

“[We] just told them if they need anything at all, or needed us to go get something for them, we would go do that.”
Mr Mohajerin said the couple had “never met or spoken to Teressa”.

“We got a really nice response,” he said.

Ms Leedie said it was “really uncommon for people to reach out this way”.

“Usually people stick to themselves,” Ms Leedie said.

“It was really overwhelming and heartwarming to know you’ve got neighbours, strangers, in your street who are willing to support us in this time of need.” Mr Mohajerin recommended other people to reach out to others — whether online or over the fence — saying it had given him and Ms Mohajerin something to look forward to.

“I’m so glad we did it,” he said.

“One household suggested we have a street party when this is all over, so we can’t wait — it’s going to be huge.”

Coronavirus: Melbourne Suburbs Set For Rapid Recovery After Pandemic

Melbourne’s property market is set for a rapid recovery once COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, with vendors already preparing to list once the dust settles.

Popular family neighbourhoods, blue-chip suburbs and Victoria’s up-and-coming regional towns are tipped to bounce back the fastest from the unexpected property downturn.

Propertyology director Simon Pressley said strong market conditions before the pandemic would help the city recover in as little as six months. “We’ve got the lowest interest rates in most Australians’ lifetimes and we’ve only got to cast our minds back about six weeks ago to see clearance rates going through the roof and double-digit price growth,” Mr Pressley said.

“The same reason it was happening then is why it will happen again once we come out of our cocoons.”

He said three years of strong median house price growth after Australia’s recession in the 1990s and the Global Financial Crisis suggested the market would rapidly rise again once shutdown restrictions ended.

Propertyology research also showed booming towns including Bendigo, Warrnambool and Mildura would remain fairly bulletproof during the crisis, with low rent supply and high job growth.

Narre Warren North, Box Hill and Blackburn were among suburbs that had the largest price gains between the GFC and coronavirus, according to

Chief economist Nerida Conisbee said they would be some of the areas that recovered fastest due to their owner-occupier appeal.

“Melbourne’s middle ring will do quite well … especially if you’ve got a house in a location that’s connected to good schools, public transport and not too expensive,” Ms Conisbee said.

Read more.

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Silver Linings: In This Chill Why Not, Cosy Up For A Cuppa And A Good Book! With All The Missing Time We Now Have Back!

Things are on the whole looking up for us here in Australia, from recent Government reports it appears things are heading in the right direction, however it isn’t a time to rush out and celebrate. Instead take some peace from the situation and as the days are getting cooler here in Melbourne why not dust off the old bookshelf, grab a quiet corner to enjoy some on page adventure from a wonderful novel and sip down a cup of hot chocolate! 

It like a winter vacation in the comfort of being home. 

We would love to hear more about what you are enjoying? What is your Silver lining to the COVID-19 situation?

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It is predicted the Real Estate Market will come out unscathed.

We thought it important to share this latest update by the biggest industry publisher Real Estate (REA Group). 

The coronavirus pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on Australia’s economy. While it’s still too soon to tell what damage has extended to the property market, it will likely come out unscathed.

Online auctions make up a third of previous auction market

The number of scheduled online auctions are far fewer than what we’d normally see scheduled on for on-site auctions. The industry is still transitioning to new ways of selling amid COVID-19, so we might see a bigger uptake of online auctions as it becomes the new norm.

It’s important to remember that only 14 percent of properties go to auction, so auctions really are only a small proportion of the market. Last weekend, online auctions made up 5.8 per cent of the overall market. While clearance rates were used as the main form of auction data pre-coronavirus, clearance rates are really only a good indicator of performance in premium Sydney and Melbourne suburbs, where the majority of auctions take place. Right now, the clearance rate is a redundant indicator partly because so few properties are now going to auction, but also because we’re still in a transition phase and learning how best to sell property via auctions in a fundamentally different way.

As with all disruption, it takes time for new behaviours to replace old behaviours. At this stage, it’s too early to tell what the eventual uptake of online buying and selling will be. Post pandemic, I do think on-site auctions will come back, but no doubt the industry will have evolved.

How COVID-19 is affecting property around the world.

It is still too early to know what will happen to pricing in Australia as a result of COVID-19 and we likely won’t be able to analyse data in a meaningful way until May. Until then, we can look at the worst-case health scenarios playing out in Northern Italy, New York, the UK and China to understand what is happening to property in severe lockdowns.

Markets around the world that went into COVID-19 strong are faring better, and Australia’s property market was well into recovery in the first quarter of 2020, which is a positive sign.

It’s also important to note that Australia is currently in a very different situation with much lower rates of death and infection, and a far less severe lockdown. Although, recent changes to inspections in Victoria will immediately and significantly impact the local economy, property industry and general community.

Published on the 12th April Nerida Conisbee and team released this market update;

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates regarding Sales and Inspections

Restrictions on indoor gatherings

The Stay at Home Directions (No 3) dated 7 April 2020 (SAHD) restrict the number of people who may gather in indoor spaces to two people, providing that, unless an exception applies, a person must not enter a residence unless:

  • no other person is in that space; or
  • only one other person is in that space; or
  • more than one other person is in the space, but all of those persons ordinarily reside at the same premises as the person.

Inspections for lease and sale

Clause 11(3)(c) of the Stay at Home Direction (SAHD) allows a person to permit another person to enter their place of residence if it is necessary for the second person to enter the premises for the purpose of their work. Therefore, a person may permit an estate agent to enter the person’s place of residence to allow the estate agent to undertake their work related to the place of residence.

Inspections of occupied properties

Clause 11(3)(d) of the SAHD allows a person to permit another person to enter their place of residence if the second person is entering for the purposes of attending a private inspection of the premises for the purposes of a prospective sale or rental of the property.

Private inspections of an occupied/tenanted residential property are permitted to be organised. An inspection is only permitted where an estate agent and one other person (the person for whom the inspection is organised by private appointment) are present at the premises.An inspection where an estate agent, the prospective tenant/purchaser and a resident of the premises are all present is not permitted. In this case the resident of the premises will have to leave the premises, and should do so for a reason permitted under the SAHD, namely, to obtain necessary goods or services, for care and other compassionate reasons, to attend work or education or to exercise. Those in isolation or quarantine should not leave their homes.

Inspections of vacant properties

Private inspections of a vacant residential property are permitted to be organised. An inspection is only permitted where an estate agent and one other person (the person for whom the inspection is organised by private appointment) are present at the premises.

Inspections of tenanted properties

Inspections by vendors or landlords

A vendor or a landlord wanting to enter a property to inspect it is permitted to do so if they have served a valid notice to enter the premises under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Inspections by estate agents

An estate agent is permitted to enter residential premises to exercise lawful duties as part of the exercise of their occupation, including to inspect a property on behalf of a landlord or vendor. Restrictions on indoor gatherings do not apply to an estate agent entering an indoor space where it is necessary to enter a property in the exercise of their occupation. Accordingly, an estate agent may enter premises to conduct an inspection on behalf of a landlord or vendor irrespective of the number of residents of the property present at the time.Estate agents, vendors or landlords conducting any inspection should ensure compliance and high levels of hygiene. See the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) information on appropriate cleaning and disinfecting.

More activities may be restricted as the coronavirus (COVID-19) progresses. Estate agents should monitor the DHHS website for up-to-date information.

We encourage you to reachout to us via [email protected] to discuss your particular situation and to read further information please head to Consumer affairs victoria on the below link.

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