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Despite the headwinds of 2020, Victoria and Tasmania capped off the year with not one but two record months for home sales.
The Victoria and Tasmania property markets look to have returned to life in December following periods of extended lockdown, with more than 1,210 homes sold by Ray White across the two states with a combined price tag of $840 million.
This is on the back of a record-high November, when 1,143 sales were finalised by the agency worth a total $816 million.
Moreover, the good news continued for Melbourne where auction clearance rates climbed 5 per cent year-on-year to 78 per cent from 493 auctions conducted.
While December is not traditionally the strongest real estate month of the year given the Christmas break, Ray White found that “these are the most successful results ever across Victoria and Tasmania for the network, showcasing the excellent market conditions”.
According to Ray White Victoria and Tasmania CEO Stephen Dullens: “Despite the lead-up to Christmas, Victorians, and Melburnians in particular, have certainly made up for lost time as restrictions eased.
“The year we’ll never forget, 2020 finished with record-breaking buyer metrics too, such as loan pre-approvals, open for inspection numbers, registered auction bidders, online enquiries and so on.
“These metrics continue to give us confidence that the current extraordinary momentum should endure well into 2021, especially as the Reserve Bank of Australia continues to forecast very low interest rates for at least the next three years.”
Further, the Victorian government also announced discounts to stamp duty in the 2020-21 budget.
Up until 1 July 2021, new and off-the-plan properties will see a 50 per cent waiver on stamp duty, while established properties will benefit from a 25 per cent discount. These stamp duty discounts are available to both investors and owner-occupiers, with a $1 million threshold placed on properties.
“The relatively short time frame on this policy is likely to bring forward property purchasing decisions, concentrating housing demand over the next six months,” Mr Dullens said.
In order to cater to the changing needs of the market, Ray White embraced the “new normal operating environment” through digital inspections, auctions and document execution, which ensured that customers are safe and still able to take advantage of market conditions.