Following on from similar moves in NSW, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia, the Victorian government has also now reintroduced in-person auctions and on-site inspections, which were banned in March as part of the federal government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.
The ban was lifted yesterday (13 May) for auctions of up to 10 people (plus the minimum amount of people required to facilitate the sale and those selling the house).
Agents are also being required to keep records of attendees’ names and contact details, to “assist in contact tracing if required”, and enforce social distancing and hygiene practices.
Commenting on the news, Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) president Leah Calnan said: “The real estate sector is prepared to take the measures necessary to assist with a safe return to business.
“The real estate sector has adapted extremely well during this pandemic. While restrictions are being lifted, the threat of the coronavirus remains, and it is imperative that we continue to run auctions safely and responsibly.
“The REIV encourages all members to download the COVIDSafe app and implement strong safety protocols as we begin our return to work routines.
“In addition, the REIV recommends that all individuals attending an open or auction should also download the app, provide contact details to the agent and follow social distancing measures as required.”
Ms Calnan noted online auctions have worked well over the last few weeks, with the REIV encouraging its members to use this as an additional channel for wider engagement.
“Having public auctions will inspire increased confidence in our economy. Auctioneers across the state are looking forward to getting back to what they do best,” she added.
“We are very excited about auctions coming back, [and] the real estate sector is prepared to do the right thing to ensure auctions and open for inspections are run safely.”
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.