Relaxing the COVID-19 real estate rules means Canberra agents can now list new properties for sale and lease, with photography as well as pest and building inspections permitted.
Under the new regulations announced by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr on Friday (27 August), real estate businesses will be allowed one person at any one time to conduct property inspections that are required by law for the sale of a property to proceed.
One person at any one time is also permitted to photograph or video a property when there are no other persons present.
However, restrictions are still in place.
Mr Barr said agents cannot conduct one-on-one inspections, cannot engage styling or other aesthetical services for properties and cannot return to a property to conduct live virtual tours.
Group general manager Independent Property Group Kylie Dennis welcomed the announcement. However, coming into the industry’s busy spring period, she hopes there will be a further loosening of restrictions.
“We can move forward with listing properties for sale and rental which is a big relief for those vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants who need to be able to progress with their housing needs,” Ms Dennis said.
“However, we strongly urge the government to allow individual property inspections as well as property styling and some fundamental home improvements such as painting and carpeting.”
“After all, spring is one of the busiest times for real estate in the ACT and it is important we can continue to operate and meet people’s housing needs.”
Despite the lockdowns, Ms Dennis said the past two weeks have remained very buoyant from both a sales and property management perspective, with many transactions in the pipeline.
Buying off the plan is an easy option during lockdown. Over the past fortnight, the Independent team has sold 42 apartments and townhouses, and enquiry rates are still very strong.
Independent’s director of residential sales Stan Platis is also the deputy president of REIACT (the Real Estate Institute of the Australian Capital Territory). He’s been part of the team meeting government officials to work through the issues affecting the real estate industry as a result of the latest lockdown.
Mr Platis said there is a genuine willingness from the ACT Government to work with industry to minimise the disruption to people’s lives as much as possible.
“Housing is a fundamental need for all of us and it is important we are able to continue to provide our services from both a sales and rental perspective,” he added.
Zango CEO Darryn McRae encourages anyone thinking of selling in Canberra to talk to their agents now so they’re ready for the spring market.
“We anticipate an easing of restrictions into spring and the run into the end of the year, so anyone thinking of selling should get in touch with their local agent ASAP so they can be some of the first homes ready to hit the market after all the pent-up buyer demand is unleashed,” Mr McRae said.