An Update on Geelong’s Property Market & Gartland’s Response
Geelong is our regional city that really has it all. It’s a city that meets the sea, it offers access to great educational institutions, career opportunities, and of course, more affordable housing when compared to Australia’s big cities. It is unique. In these unprecedented times, it continues to become an increasingly desirable place to live.
We’ve all seen the impact COVID-19 is having on Australia’s economy, with housing markets in major cities expecting to see a significant drop. Although there is much uncertainty at the moment, we expect to see Geelong’s property market to remain somewhat protected from a prolonged downturn.
Residential property in Geelong is continuing to exceed expectations. While the depth of the market has shallowed, those people enquiring have the means and are qualified buyers. They’re not killing time on a weekend looking at property- they’re there to buy. In some respects, COVID-19 is making residential sales more efficient.
What is happening is uncontrollable, and people understand that, but they are still buying and selling. At Gartland Property, we’ve altered the way we do business and are being flexible with other variables, like extending terms to ensure that vendors and purchasers are able to transact.
I’m confident that Geelong’s affordability (when compared to the likes of Melbourne), desirable lifestyle, and low-interest rates will halt a potential price fall. There are fewer buyers and sellers in the market, however, house prices are unlikely to see a drop.
Looking back at the most recent example of a similar experience in property markets – the credit crunch – residential values dropped 10% in capital cities, but Geelong didn’t slide back. I expect a similar impact, but a much greater lift coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.
As working from home becomes the norm, priorities may change. Geelong and other regional areas will become more attractive because they offer a better lifestyle. It’s a chance to reduce the mortgage, not have to travel, and yet still be able to undertake the same career as before.
How Gartland Property has changed
Our team is adapting in the face of COVID-19 and we are being proactive. Some of our team are working from home because they are home schooling their children. Others are in the office and are practicing social distancing. Regardless of where we are located, we all recognise that now, more than ever, our clients need our support. Now is the time that we must be available, informed and as always, ready to help.
Gartland agents have adapted swifty to the required changes regarding auctions and inspections. All property inspections are now conducted privately ensuring all hygiene and social distancing measures are adhered to.
We have also commenced the use of the Openn Negotiation auction platform. Potential purchasers can register their intent to bid online, monitor the auction, the number of other bidders and the current highest bid.
All of these measures have enabled us to conduct Gartland Property with a ‘business as usual’ approach. Our absolute priority is being available to our clients at all times to assist with their needs around property.
Caring for our community
Overall, the impact of COVID-19 on the property market is multifaceted. While some aspects of the market are slowing, others have stepped up.
At this point in time, it is imperative to be transparent with landlords and tenants. This means showing them the figures and staying at the forefront of market trends. The more transparent you are, the more people are happy to work with you. Everyone wants to come out of this on the other side.
It’s great to see people doing the right thing by each other. We’ve had landlords ringing the office to ask if their tenants are ok. We’re seeing the compassionate side of people.
There are so many opportunities that will come from our current circumstances. Opportunities to become better businesspeople. Opportunities for more transparent communication, more compassion, and ways to re-engineer our lifestyles to prioritise a better work/ life balance. As always, Geelong will be the place to be!
Michael De Stefano