The 2010 postcode has always been a property hotspot, and predictions of a slump in rents and sale prices are wide of the mark.
Lynette Laming isn’t always proud of her colleagues in the real estate business, but she says many in the industry rose to occasion during the Covid-19 disruptions.
“Many of us have never been busier, and its not as if we are making more money, we are making less,” she says.
“But its been more about acting to keep a roof over people’s heads and seeing people through this crisis.”
Laming, the principal of her company Laming Property, knows the property business in the 2010 postcode intimately.
She says that while many people are saying the market is “all doom and gloom” this is simply not the case.
“It’s not doom and gloom, it’s just different,” she says.
According to figures from Domain, renters comprise 62 percent of households in the 2010 postcode and this sector of the market has been the most active in recent months.
Some tenants have been in distress and have been negotiating with landlords, many of whom have been accommodating with rebates and rent reductions.
Other tenants have simply refused to pay, putting landlords in distress. There has been a moratorium on evictions, but that came to an end in mid-June and some of these tenants will have to move on.
Overall, Laming says the rental market has held up, partly through the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program which has kept money flowing to tenants and enabling them to pay rent.
As an example, she says she recently had an inspection for a house to rent and 48 people showed up to the open, with the queue extending down the street.
“I rented that one for exactly what it was being leased for prior, and the new tenants offered to pay six months’ rent in advance,” she says.
“I did get a lot of very low ball offers form people, but the reality is that in this area properties are largely still going for the same rents.
“That said, I’d still encourage tenants to negotiate because not all properties are the same, and you never know.”
In terms of sales, she says some vendors withdrew their properties from the market when the disruptions hit but are now pondering re-listing as the economy opens.
“The listing numbers are really low, but I’m getting a lot of buyer enquiries,” she says.
Buyers are encouraged by record low interest rates and people with money in the bank were looking at interest rates of savings of under 1 percent, creating an added incentive to invest.
The Government’s $25,000 renovation grant was also having an impact, and Laming says she knows several people who had planned to do renovations down the track and are now planning on doing them sooner because of the grant.
“And it might mean that these properties end up on the market for sale sooner than they might have before,” she says.
Dire predictions that property prices were going to sink by up to 30 percent were “just wrong”, she says.
“That’s just not going to happen, not in the 2010 area anyway,” says Laming.