The Real Estate Market and the Pandemic
a Q&A with Zali Reynolds
During this time of great precarity, it can be difficult to know how to approach the real estate market. Should you wait things out, or should you strike now? What is the state of the market? And what are the things you should know when it comes to buying, selling and building during a global pandemic?
We’re answering all these questions and more in this special Q&A blog. We recently sat down with experienced real estate agent Zali Reynolds from Shelter Real Estate to learn more about what’s happening in the housing market.
You might know Zali from some of our recent videos – she’s looked after the sale of our recently completed Sunhill project! Keep reading to hear what she had to say…
Ramsay Builders: How has COVID and talk of a recession affected the local market?
Zali Reynolds: Initially, the market pretty much shut down like the rest of the economy. This was mainly because people were scared or not allowed to leave their houses. However, in the last four weeks we’ve seen a real surge in inspections and sales as buyers, who have spent months in isolation, are realising that their houses are not big enough or don’t provide the right layout for working from home. I am hoping this new lockdown sees activity continue, although I am sure inspections will slow.
RB: Have some suburbs been affected more than others? Why and why not?
ZR: My understanding is that the outer suburbs have been most affected. However, my marketplace is the inner eastern suburbs and so that’s where my expertise lies. Although turnover has been affected, prices seem to be stable here
RB: Has the pandemic affected house prices?
ZR: Yes, but not in a general ‘across the board’ sense. In my market I have found that the $3,000,000+ price range has been most affected – people in this price bracket have just decided to sit tight and not make any real estate moves and that’s affecting prices at that level. However, the rest of the market seems to have stable prices. But things can change quickly!
RB: Do you expect a surge in home buying / renting once restrictions are fully lifted?
ZR: I’ve actually already seen a surge in both buying and selling. As restrictions start to be lifted, I’ve seen more people looking for a home that better suits their needs. As more people transition to working from home full time, I see that homes with great zoning and bright spaces will be in huge demand. I think people have also realised during the pandemic that good neighbours are essential, and that community spirit is an important part of life, so access to good community facilities will also be in high demand.
RB: How do you see the market playing out for the rest of the year?
ZR: If only I had a crystal ball… It’s very dependent on the state of the pandemic and the confidence in the market. But I’m always resting on the old real estate fall back, which is if you buy and sell in the same market, it doesn’t really matter what the market is doing.
RB: Is now a good time to buy land?
ZR: Yes, it’s a very good time to buy land. We are seeing some great buys when it comes to land and let’s face it – they aren’t making any more of it.
RB: Does the current situation affect potential developments or investors that otherwise may have been in the market?
ZR: Yes, it has definitely affected developers who are finding it much harder to get the levels of funding that they want. They are also seeing their timelines on approvals blow out as councils who have staff working from home take longer to process permits for larger developments.
RB: How do you see the HomeBuilder package influencing the real estate market?
ZR: Well it’s great if you are already planning to build as you’ll be able to get some free money! In terms of the market I work in, it will have a very small effect as the scheme in comparison to the value of properties is a small amount of money.
If you’re interested in learning more about Melbourne’s real estate market during the pandemic, get in touch with Zali at Shelter Real Estate. Otherwise, explore our recently completed Sunhill project here.