BY 2pm last Saturday, Phillip Island real estate agents, Greg Price and Brian Silver, had already conducted six promising inspections. Most of those looking, it must be said, were from Melbourne.
In fact, in the past 10 days, they’ve sold six houses sight-unseen, as they say…
Well, not physically.
“We’re doing a lot of virtual inspections at the moment and the market is red hot,” Greg Price of Alex Scott and Staff at Cowes said.
“I like to get to the property five or 10 minutes early, to turn the lights on and open doors just as you normally would and then walk out the front to put the call trough on Facetime.
“I introduce myself, suggest we take a look around the garden first and then we go inside.
“They’ll ask me to open a cupboard here or there, to take a closer look at the bath, “is it acrylic or porcelain over steel”, and then I’ll offer to go back to anything they want to see again.
“I then turn the phone back on myself and we have a discussion about the property.”
Offers are made and the deal is done.
When the COVID-19 pandemic frightened the heck out of the property market back in March this year, Greg thought he’d been fortunate enough to experience the best 20 years in the industry’s history.
He didn’t see this coming.
“It’s been phenomenal. Admittedly listings are low, but the level of interest is very strong, not only locally and from elsewhere in regional Victoria, but especially from Melbourne.
“I think there are a number of things going on here.
“People have seen they can work from home, others have been wanting to make the move to the coast for years and some were already close to retirement age anyway and have taken the pandemic as a signal to get out.
“Which means there will be jobs after this.
“But anyone thinking of selling should get their property ready, which has been one of the problems of course. People haven’t been able visit from Melbourne but it’s a great time to sell right now.”
Since last Sunday’s announcement by the Premier though, second-home owners from Melbourne will be able to come down if there get a Fire Prevention Notice from the local council.
Phillip Island and Inverloch, as iconic destinations locally, aren’t on their own. Inquiry has been strong right along the Bass and South Gippsland coast as far as Port Albert.
It’s a trend that’s being experienced in all lifestyle locations from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to the Sydney beaches and the Mornington Peninsula.
REIV President Leah Calnan said Victorian property values continued to defy gloomy price predictions and were performing strongly despite six months of the Coronavirus pandemic
“The highlight of the September Quarter is Regional Victoria. Regional houses set a new quarterly record at $442,500, recording incredible growth at 5.1 per cent for the quarter and 4.9 per cent over the last 12 months.
“Regional units have fallen slightly to $327,000, down 3.1 per cent from the past quarter, but are 8.0 per cent more valuable than they were 12 months ago.”
The varying levels of restrictions placed on Melbourne Metro and Regional Victoria over the last couple of months impacted transaction volumes as expected, according to REIV data.
However, while transaction numbers in Melbourne plummeted by 31 per cent, compared to the June Quarter, transactions in Regional Victoria soared by 15 per cent.
“Despite six months of Covid-19, lockdowns and moratoriums, the Victorian Property Market continues to prosper with properties remaining more valuable than they were in 2019,” Ms. Calnan said.