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Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was

09 July 2020 Grace Ormsby
Melbourne

Australia has reached a new crossroad when it comes to the COVID-19 crisis, both for health and economic reasons: Here are the biggest property stories this week.

Welcome to REB’s weekly round-up of the headline stories and news that’s important not only for the real estate sector, but also for the state of property in Australia more broadly.

To compile this list, not only are we taking a look at the week’s most read stories and the news that matters to you, but we are also curating it to include stories from our sister platforms that could have an impact on the Australian property landscape.  

1. Victoria agents ‘well drilled and ready’ for stage 3 lockdown

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Metropolitan Melbourne real estate agents are well prepared for a move back into stage 3 restrictions, the REIV has flagged. President Leah Calnan said real estate agencies across Melbourne and Mitchell Shire “will continue to service the community, with online inspections returning along with online auctions”.

2. BresicWhitney welcomes experienced sales leader

Independent real estate group BresicWhitney has hired an experienced sales leader and top auctioneer as it looks to bolster its growth strategy.

Thomas McGlynn joins BresicWhitney from The Agency, where he held the title of national head of sales and chief auctioneer. Throughout his career, Mr McGlynn has also worked for McGrath as a sales leader.

3. Grays marketplace makes its move in real estate

Grays marketplace is launching itself into the real estate and property market, calling its foray into the sector “the next frontier”.

It’s kicking things off with the sale of several blocks of land in Western Australia’s Kimberleys in a series of online auctions in conjunction with First National Real Estate Kimberley.

4. Regional town remains resilient despite COVID-19

According to First National Real Estate’s chief executive, the Victorian suburb of Echuca is trending in the opposite direction of the capital cities and has risen slightly since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“While the number of homes available for sale is certainly less than it was 12 months ago, the degree of buyer demand for those homes has kept prices steady or even led to higher-than-expected prices being achieved,” CEO Ray Ellis said.

5. RBA reveals July cash call

The central bank acted as most economists predicted, holding the cash rate at 0.25 of a percentage point, having previously stated it does not believe negative rates are effective.

6. HomeBuilder prediction: 8 suburbs set to boom

Co-founder of Wealthi Domenic Nesci has noted that hopeful investors and savvy first home buyers are racing to get their feet in the door to take advantage of the HomeBuilder scheme, with two areas particularly well placed to take advantage of the scheme:

• Western Sydney’s Cobbitty, Leppington, Penrith, St Marys and Westmead

• Melbourne’s “inner doughnut”: Fitzroy North, Heidelberg and Essendon

7. Perth sales strongest in 5 years

New data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has revealed that June saw the biggest month of sales in Perth since 2015. According to the group, transactions increased by 55.1 per cent in June, compared with May, and are 45 per higher than June 2019.

8. Major bank overhauls guarantor policy

Westpac Group — which includes the Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St.George Bank — has announced changes to its guarantee policy for home loan applications which include an expansion of eligibility criteria.

The list of acceptable family members who can provide a “Family Security Guarantee” now includes parents, step-parents and legal guardians, siblings or step-siblings, children or stepchildren.

8. Approval lags, credit crunch chief pain points among brokers

Lags in the loan application process and credit policy tightening from lenders have been cited as the key concerns among mortgage brokers for the next 12-month period.

Other concerns cited by brokers include a slow economic recovery (23 per cent), changing regulatory and education requirements (20 per cent), and the growth or maintenance of their client base in the aftermath of COVID-19 (19 per cent).

10. Almost half of real estate businesses decrease labour costs

New research has shown to what extent real estate businesses have had to make changes to labour costs to accommodate for the effects of COVID-19.

To date, the survey found just 26 per cent of businesses overall are making decisions to decrease their labour costs, with many of the business owners noting JobKeeper as a useful tool in this light. Looking at real estate, the results differ slightly, with 45 per cent of real estate respondents noting their offices have decreased their labour costs.

Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was
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