Lockdown restrictions are in place across several states and territories as the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 strain continues to spread in the community. 

Auctions and open homes have been moved online in some states. Picture: Getty.

Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of what real estate activity each government is currently permitting.


New South Wales

Lockdown restrictions have eased in some parts of regional New South Wales as the state government unveiled its ‘roadmap to freedom’.

From 12:01am Saturday 11 September, lockdowns eased in regional areas deemed low risk and which have seen zero COVID cases for at least 14 days, but restrictions will remain.

Residents in Greater Sydney and regional areas still recording COVID case numbers will continue to follow stay-at-home orders. They must stay home during the lockdown period unless they have a reasonable excuse, such as buying food or essentials, to exercise, for medical or caring reasons, or to work if they cannot do so from home.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said lockdowns will lift for all adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on the Monday after NSW passes the 70% double vaccination target.

Here’s what it means for real estate across NSW.

Greater Sydney

Anyone who lives, works or studies in the Greater Sydney region, including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong, remains under lockdown.

In-person auctions and open homes are banned during the lockdown period.

Private inspections are still allowed by appointment but are limited to one real estate agent and one buyer at a time. Face masks must also be worn.

Auctions can take place online.

A statewide lockdown is in place across NSW. Picture: Getty.

Anyone from Greater Sydney must obtain a permit to inspect real estate in regional NSW. They can only inspect real estate in regional NSW if it is a home to live in – not an investment property.

Sydney residents must also obtain a permit to travel to a second home in regional NSW if it is for work accommodation or if the home requires urgent maintenance and repairs (if so, only one person may travel there).

Regional NSW

From Saturday 11 September, lockdowns eased for residents who live, work or study in regional areas deemed low risk and which have seen zero COVID cases for at least 14 days. The NSW government website lists the regions where lockdowns have eased. 

In regional areas where lockdowns have eased, auctions and home inspections must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and are subject to density limits, including one person per four square metres indoors and one person per two square metres outdoors. Masks must also be worn indoors.

Regional areas that are still recording COVID cases are subject to the same restrictions on real estate activity as Greater Sydney during the lockdown period, with a ban on in-person auctions and inspections limited to private appointments only.


Victoria

Lockdowns have ended in most parts of Regional Victoria, but restrictions remain.

The City of Ballarat reentered a one-week lockdown at 11.59pm Wednesday 15 September and remains under the same restrictions as Melbourne (except for the curfew).

The City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire reentered a seven-day lockdown at 11:59pm Sunday 19 September, with restrictions the same as those in the City of Ballarat and metropolitan Melbourne (excluding the curfew).

Metropolitan Melbourne remains in lockdown, but the Victorian government announced some modest easing to restrictions from Saturday 18 September.

Auctions and home inspections can only take place remotely across Greater Melbourne. Picture: Getty.

Residents in lockdown areas remain under stay-at-home orders and can only leave their home to buy essentials, such as food or medicine; for care or compassionate reasons (including a COVID-19 test or to get a vaccine); if they are an authorised worker (with a permit), or for permitted education; and for exercise. Residents are also permitted to leave their home for outdoor social interaction, meaning one person may meet another person from a different household for a picnic, a walk, or another outdoor activity. Those who are fully vaccinated can meet in a group of up to five adults (plus dependents) from as many as two households.

Restrictions on home inspections have also been eased in locked down areas. Here’s what it means for real estate activity across Victoria.

Greater Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire:

Home inspections are allowed by private appointment only, restricted to one household at a time with the agent staying outdoors during the inspection. Current occupants cannot be present during the inspection.

In-person auctions are banned during the extended lockdown with all auctions to move online.

The rest of Victoria

  • Home inspections must take place by private appointment only with a maximum of 10 people plus the real estate agent
  • Auctions are permitted with a maximum of 10 people


South Australia

Level one restrictions are currently in place across South Australia.

Home inspections and live auctions are currently allowed to take place under the following guidelines:

  • Open homes and inspections must adhere to the one person per two square metre rule.
  • Masks are mandatory where social distancing is not possible.
  • Real estate agents must have a COVID-safe plan in place, including an approved contact tracing system such as a QR code.
  • Strict hygiene standards must be maintained
Open homes and auctions in South Australia must adhere to the one person per two square metre rule. Picture: Getty.


Queensland

Restrictions in south east Queensland have eased to be the same as the rest of the state, with the exception of mask wearing.

Masks must be worn unless you can stay 1.5 metres away from others in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Gold Coast, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Sunshine Coast and Noosa until 4pm, Friday 10 September.

Home inspections and live auctions are allowed to take place in Queensland under the following guidelines:

  • There are no density restrictions for outdoor auctions.
  • On-site inspections and auctions are limited to one person per two square metres indoors.
  • Contact information must be collected using the ‘Check In Qld’ app.
A snap lockdown has lifted across south-east Queensland but some restrictions remain. Picture: Getty.


Western Australia

WA remains in a State of Emergency, but there are no longer any capacity restrictions on open homes and inspections, provided they follow COVID-safe measures.

Under the current restrictions:

  • Open homes and inspections must have no more than one person per two square metres.
  • Real estate agents are also required to maintain a mandatory contact register for staff and visitors and must follow social distancing and hygiene requirements.
Western Australia remains in a State of Emergency. Picture: Getty.


Northern Territory

Snap lockdowns in Darwin and Katherine have eased, but some restrictions remain.

Home inspections and in-person auctions are allowed to take place under the following guidelines:

  • On-site auctions and inspections are permitted. Residents from Greater Darwin and Katherine must wear a masks if they’re unable to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others.
  • All people must check in to all open homes, auctions and inspections using the Territory Check-In App, no matter how long they spend at the venue.
  • Gatherings of 100 to 500 people require a COVID-19 safety plan.


Tasmania

Home inspections and in-person auctions are allowed to take place under the following guidelines:

  • Limit of one person per two square metres for auctions and open homes, with a maximum of 250 people per undivided indoor space. Outdoor auctions can have up to 1,000 people per undivided outdoor area.
  • Contact details of all attendees must be recorded for contact tracing purposes.
  • Real estate agents must have a COVID-safe plan in place


Australian Capital Territory

A lockdown across the ACT has been extended until 11:59pm Friday, October 15, 2021.

Home inspections and live auctions are subject to the following guidelines:

From Saturday 18 September in-person home inspections will be permitted by private appointment only, restricted to one agent and one other person at a time.

One person can film and photograph a property, as long as no one else is present.

In-person auctions are banned. Auctions can only take place online during the lockdown period.

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