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With Victoria facing renewed restrictions, Ray White Group has flagged whether the state is set to see a greater number of distressed sales.
The real estate group said it is deeply concerned for many of its customers following the announcement that private inspections of properties will not be allowed until 26 October.
“Private inspections alone will enable the industry to safely serve its customers and ensure that the most important financial transactions of their lives can be undertaken without further delays,” Dan White, managing director of the Ray White Group, said.
“It has been a devastating day. Many of our customers often need to move properties for fundamental reasons – be it illness, divorce or other hardships like unemployment. It’s been distressing to listen to the feedback from customers now facing significant financial consequences as a result of these restrictions.
“It makes absolutely no sense to forbid private inspections when you compare the safe environment we can create compared to the activities that are being allowed.”
To further his point, Mr White pointed to 70-year old Ringwood resident Brenda Hemphill, who has bone marrow cancer and needs to find a rental property to move into by 25 September.
“I have to be out of the house by September 25 as my husband’s business went bankrupt and forced the sale,” said Mrs Hemphill, who recently sold her unit at auction through Ray White Ringwood.
“I have bone marrow cancer and need to stay close to the hospital for treatments. We have had to sell our forever home and there’s no chance of delaying the settlement as my husband went bankrupt but the house was in both names.
“I cannot go and view any rental properties. I am imploring Dan Andrew to make life a bit easier for us as not everything is around the corner to get the things we need.”
Ray White is among the real estate groups urging the government to review its current roadmap, noting the problems shutting down the industry is causing.
“We are not aware of any community transmission occurring in Australia as a result of real estate activity, and we estimate that nearly 180,000 properties were listed and marketed across Australia since April,” a statement from the group noted.
“That includes conducting open homes and auctions throughout Sydney throughout July and August and private inspections in the lead-up to the stage 4 Melbourne lockdown, when community outbreaks were occurring in both cities.
“We note that physical on-site meetings will be permitted from 13 September in the construction industry and display homes will be open by appointment only from 28 September. We see no difference between these settings (particularly for many properties that are vacant) and believe the same settings can be achieved in the real estate industry.
“We call on the government to review its decision and would welcome any opportunity to work collaboratively, for the good of the Victorian community.”