Please click on the image below to take a listen to an important update from our Managing Director, John Cunningham. John discusses the leasing market and gives some helpful tips on getting your property leased sooner, given this extended lockdown.
For landlords who are impacted by this lockdown, there is financial help available. Click here for more information on assistance available or please get in touch with your Property Manager to discuss the options available.
Hi, it’s John Cunningham, from Cunninghams with the latest update on how the COVID lockdown is affecting the real estate market on the Northern beaches. From our perspective, there’s been two fronts here, there’s the sales front, and also the rental front. From the sales perspective, very active, things are going absolutely crazy. And we can’t fully understand why or what’s going on, but right now, a lot of sales happening, a lot of high prices being achieved. On the rental side of things, not such great news. We’ve seen definitely a contracting of that marketplace. The leasing market has changed significantly in the past few weeks. So we saw an initial flurry in the first few weeks of the lockdown, we leased 24 properties in two weeks. But that’s now slowed.
Inquiry is still high, but prospective tenant market is tight with fewer qualified applicants looking. And only those that have got to move are doing so. So again, there’s a hesitancy, they’re holding back. New properties to the market has seen a lot of inquiry, however, but if not priced correctly, they’re just simply not moving. So we’re actually finding that when property is priced correctly, still engaging tenants and they’re still getting applications through. So lots of positive feedback, but not many applicants on all properties. And so, that’s just a reflection of what’s happening right now.
Now, clearly we must be showing properties in the COVID safe way, we have a COVID safe safety plan to minimize risks. And we’re only showing properties that are vacant, at the moment, unless we’ve got tenants permission to show those properties where they’re in occupation. We can’t do open homes. Everything is on a one-to-one basis only. So one person and one agent at a time. We’re doing a lot of video work, a lot of virtual tours so that people can see these properties before they book appointments, so we’re not showing people unnecessarily. And we’re sending these out to tenants, they’re all online so that everyone’s able to view those and make sure that we’re covering that. We’re offering a lot of FaceTime appointments. We’re setting up appointments for tenants to book into it daily now. So every day we’re booking these through Inspect Real Estate to make sure that we’re not having ad hoc appointments. It’s all very structured, very organized.
Inquiry levels, as I’ve said, are still high, but they’re just being choosy, so really taking longer to commit to taking properties. So, we are going to see our days on market move out. Now, it’s very important to understand for those landlords who have had requests for tenancy rent reductions, there is a $1,500 residential tenancy support payment now available. So, if you have reduced your tenants rent, your property manager will be in touch to sort that out with you. Or if you do get a request from a tenant from that front, that support is definitely in play. So there’s a lot of things that need to be set up with that with the Office of Fair Trading, to set up the residential support payment portal. So, make sure we have that covered for you in the coming days to discuss that, how to actually apply for that and make sure that we can lodge that on your behalf.
So, all in all, we are still in the thick of this. We don’t know how long it’s going to go on for, but everything that we’re doing is absolutely to ensure the safety of all our consumers in the marketplace. And business is being done, it’s a lot of virtual things happening. And we say at the moment, we could virtually do anything, and that’s pretty much the case. But we will continue to monitor this for you and keep you up to date, but we’re staying positive and things are happening. But the number one thing right now is if you do have a re that situation, make sure that you look at being realistic about your rent to get occupancy and to minimize your exposure, minimize your risk. Far better to take a little bit less rent now and get someone occupying that premises, particularly in the event that we do go into tighter restrictions. We still don’t know what’s going to happen on that front yet, but we’re making sure that we cover every base for you as best we can.
All the best, and we’ll update you soon.