Victoria to now benefit from HomeBuilder

By Gerv Tacadena | 29 Sep 2020

The housing market of Victoria is now open for business again and will now be able to benefit from the HomeBuilder scheme after several weeks of lull due to the COVID-19 restrictions, experts say.

The state government of Victoria has finally allowed private inspections for purchase or leasing of properties, reopening the housing market to sellers and buyers. These inspections, however, will still follow an updated set of regulations.

Under the new rules, only one agent and one client can be in a private property and display home inspection. The client, who can either be a buyer or a tenant, can only be accompanied by one person from the same household.

In a statement, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) said the state government's move will spur a gradual return to real estate transactions in Melbourne.

"This will be an enormous relief to buyers, sellers and renters alike, many of whom have been suffering severe financial and emotional stress over the past few weeks," it said.

Furthermore, the announcement will also help real estate professionals who were left with no jobs when the restrictions were placed.

"Real estate agents will now be able to conduct inspections by private appointment," REIV said.

One of the biggest impacts of the lockdown was the limited take-up of the HomeBuilder scheme, said Fiona Nield, executive director for Victoria at Housing Industry Association.

The expected boost from HomeBuilder scheme failed to materialise in the state in August, as the overall sales activity for newly-constructed dwellings declined by 14.4%. The sales decline in the month overturned the increases recorded in the two previous months.

Nield said the reopening of the housing market is crucial to prevent any further risks to the housing market.

"Display homes and centres operated safely throughout the COVID-19 restrictions until stage four with builders applying minimum numbers of visitors, along with appointment only arrangements, and all necessary cleaning and tracing protocols in place," she said. "These practices should be applied now to assist these premises to re-open as soon as possible."

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