Navigating uncertain times
G’Day, guys and welcome to the 2020 winter market update.
Autumn was an absolute whirlwind, with COVID-19 and the impacts it had on both our personal and professional lives.
As a company, we were fortunate enough to have already built a process and systems ecosystem. That fully enabled staff to work from home with no hassles. Because of this, we were able to maintain as close to usual business practice and keep our doors open, right throughout the pandemic.
Our highly digital platform allowed us to adapt without breaking stride and ensure our clients’ needs were met as per our usual standards.
Property Management department:
Our PM team are still conducting all required inspections. And our trades are keeping up to date with the necessary maintenance. Despite the uncertainty, the vast majority of our tenants have been incredibly respectful. And understanding that their landlords and ourselves are also dealing with especially unusual and stressful times.
For those looking to rent out a property, occupancy rates remain exceptionally high across the board. Currently sitting at 98%. So you won’t have trouble getting tenants in your home.
Some positive news is arears remained incredibly low. And the amount of actual hardship cases during COVID that we have had to administer is extremely low. Rental returns have remained steady, although there has been a slight reduction in enquiries on our upper end of the market. Which has possibly affected rental amounts slightly at that top end.
In our experience, the market has remained incredibly strong. And for those of us who understand this Baw Baw market, that comes as no surprise. Our team of managers have been working tirelessly to ensure your investments are well looked after in these times. But I have to take our real hats off to our spectacular landlords and tenants. Almost without exception, they have handled these unusual times with patience, understanding but most importantly, compassion.
You see when faced with such adversity, it is often easy to be drawn into your selfishness and needs. Still, our landlords and tenants have remained calm, accepted our guidance and advice. And to date have navigated these difficult times with absolute dignity, so thank you to you all.
I can not tell you how many of you have rung and asked what is happening? What is the best thing to do? Should I sell now or later?
The reality is, no one knows. These are such unprecedented times, changing so fast and so frequent, that anyone trying to predict is simply guessing. But, what I can tell you is this.
1/ We do not know what will happen in 3, 6 or 12 months, but we do know what is happening now and right now (June 2020), the market is still moving quite strong. Low listing levels have ensured that prices have remained steady, and although there is no doubting the amount of buyer enquiry has drastically reduced, the quality of enquiry is insanely good. Covid-19 produced what we called an “early winter market”.
You see no one in the middle of winter in Gippsland, puts there beanie on and goes shopping for houses in the blistering rain unless they are serious about buying a home. And during COVID conditions we have seen the same thing.
Very few people are house hunting unless it is genuinely needed and as a result (although inspections are down) competitive buying remains strong. So in our opinion, if you are thinking of selling or are considering it in the next 6 months, we can not tell you what the conditions will be, but right now it is still competitive, steady and strong.
2/ Our market here in Baw Baw around Drouin and Warragul has always shown high resilience in challenging markets. And we expect this will be no different. You see, regional markets are looking more attractive than ever before.
With many now questioning if they want to live in these highly dense and populated areas or purchase their own title freehold home with generous yard and space here in the Baw Baw Shire. And, let’s face it, the idea of commuting everyday looks less daunting now that we realise our ability to work from home is quite achievable.
Instead of early trains and stagnant freeways commuting 5 days a week, it may only have to be 2 or 3 times a week instead! Plus…our affordability here only 20 odd minutes down the road from Pakenham and 30-40 minutes from the eastern suburbs is still incredibly strong. With median house prices hovering around the mid $400,000’s we are some $100 – $200,000 and even $300,000 more affordable than some of those closer suburbs.
The reality is.. we (like all of you) have never been through anything like this before. But our company and our team have been here through more markets than most. Our knowledge, structure and systems allow us to pivot, react and take advantage of any market better than anyone else. So if you have any questions, please just pick up the phone and give us a call. Until then…stay safe, stay healthy, and we will see you all soon.