By Herron Todd White
May 2020

Geelong Property Update

There is no city no matter how big or small that hasn’t been affected by this pandemic.

Of course there has been some negative backlash for Geelong’s property market, however the banning of on-site auctions and public home inspections amid the COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened the focus for serious homebuyers and sellers in Geelong.

Vendors switched from auctions to a mix of sale by tender, private treaty and online bidding apps, while there has been a flurry of transactions as governments prepare to ramp up the level of public shutdowns.

Buyers and sellers are naturally turning away, given the uncertainty, with the industry preparing for a drop in the number of homes being listed to sell.

Real estate agencies are preparing for trade to drop more than half amid realistic fears the market will halt for some time in winter.

A positive that can be drawn out of this is that only serious buyers and sellers would remain active.

There are people who need to move and need to sell, but we hope we do not see panic selling, which would kill the market.

We expect the spring and summer market should be strong as a result of a quiet winter, with sellers returning for hungry buyers. The bonus will be that it will make people living in the congested inner cities look at places such as Geelong and see how spacious, low-key and relaxed it is.

Shepparton Property Update

Within the Greater Shepparton LGA, COVID-19 infection rates are very low, with ten confirmed cases in the area from a population of 66,000 or 0.000152 percent. Only two cases have been from person to person contact, with the remainder having been overseas travellers. Recently it was discovered that the only surgical face mask manufacturing facility is in Shepparton and they even had the Army in to give them support for the huge boom in demand experienced.

The general feeling in the area is a little bit of anxiety about the unknown, a dash of anger about the situation at hand and a sprinkling of optimism amongst some that Shepparton and surrounds are in a very good position both financially and geographically to bounce back to normality quickly once we get to the new norm. Many real estate agents have noted there is a decline in overall buyer enquiries, but the prospective buyers currently active are ready to make a move. Instead of agents combing through 20 general enquiries, they are only dealing with a few keen buyers. This has resulted in a number of homes at the upper end of their respective estates going under offer for full asking price in less than a week. Given the position in which Shepparton finds itself, both geographically and economically, the market has been very robust and is primed for a bullish run once things have normalised.

At the time of writing, there hadn’t been a sector of the market that posed a risk of being negatively impacted. It would be assumed that the upper end of the market – the over $700,000 properties –

would be the first to be hit, however a property at Redbyrne Court achieved $865,000 within only 24 hours of hitting the market in mid-April with two buyers fighting it out. At the moment, the struggles facing the local property market are a lack of stock coming on to the market and metro investors having also dried up somewhat.