This year has been like no other for Melbourne real estate.
While demand for inner-city living significantly declined, property prices in Melbourne’s outer suburbs skyrocketed and demand in the east was unprecedented. The impacts of COVID-19 saw Victorians sprawl across the state as they searched for a sea- or tree-change, escaping the refinements of the city.
If you asked me what surprised me most about 2021, it would have to be buyers purchasing and leasing properties site unseen in an entirely virtual transaction.
In October, Melbourne set a world record for time spent in lockdown – totalling 262 days across 2020 and 2021. Restrictions on in-person auctions and open for inspections allowed the real estate industry to demonstrate resilience and adaptability. Onsite auctions moved online, and agents pivoted traditional auction tactics to suit the new digital platforms. Philip Webb Real Estate saw great success with Anywhere Auctions and enjoyed the challenge of developing new sales skills.
During lockdown, stock levels plummeted as nervous vendors pulled listings or postponed auctions. As we emerged from various lockdowns, we saw little supply and demand significantly increase. Those who did sell during this period saw remarkable, record-breaking results. As stability returned to the market and open inspections and on-street auctions resumed we saw stock levels increase dramatically again, leading to record-breaking auction numbers and the market began to steady somewhat.
Increases in stamp duty for properties over $2 million and land tax increases for overseas vendors also had a big impact on the market this year. To combat the tax hikes, vendors are now increasing their price expectations, making some homes further out of reach for buyers. Property investors and overseas buyers will certainly be holding their breath for support from the state government in 2022. These changes have only increased property prices and resulted in fewer rentals on the market, which before long will push rents to unattainable levels.
Despite being an eventful year, 2021 was filled with lessons and learnings for Melbourne’s property industry. Thank you to the terrific sales team at Philip Webb Real Estate and all the amazing vendors who trusted us with their properties during this unpredictable year. We can’t wait to see you all in the new year!