tim mckibbin
Mr McKibbin said agents have continued to effectively hold auctions while putting safety first. Image Supplied.
  • 80% preliminary auction clearance rate recorded in Sydney
  • Trend shows migration back to Sydney, reversing the "regional exodus"
  • Reading of the Property Services Bill has been delayed

As much of the nation is either currently under a lockdown or facing new Covid-related restrictions, Sydney in particular is facing one of the largest Australian outbreaks since the pandemic began.

Despite this, Sydney has achieved a rather spectacular preliminary auction clearance rate of over 80%, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW). CoreLogic‘s auction clearance rate for last week in Sydney was 81.8%.

REINSW CEO, Tim McKibbin, said the result highlights how “adept agents are at pivoting” given the outbreak.

“In the weeks ahead, agents will continue to do all they can while observing the lockdown restrictions and putting the welfare of the community first,” emphasised Mr McKibbin.

“While the operating environment for agents and consumers is temporarily interrupted, the fundamentals remain largely unchanged.

“Demand still outstrips supply and prices can be expected to remain strong, though the pace of growth has naturally eased.”

Tim McKibbin, REINSW CEO

Aside from Sydney’s lockdown, Mr McKibbin’s remarks come as data has revealed many ex-Sydneysiders were returning to the city in a move he said balances out the “regional exodus”. This migration has resulted in the tightening of vacancy rates in the city.

“It will be interesting to see if the current outbreak affects this positive momentum,” he added.

Sydney Metropolitan Area 

SQM Research data shows the rental vacancy rate for Sydney has declined for several consecutive months, backing Mr McKibbin’s claims the vacancy rate is tightening in the harbour city.

Proposed legislation delayed

Due to the outbreak, NSW Parliament was postponed therefore delaying the reading of the Property Services Council Bill 2021. The Bill, which will facilitate the appointment of a Property Services Commissioner to oversee the property sector, is something Mr McKibbin has long supported, given the complexity of the industry.

“The need for an independent, industry-experienced regulator solely dedicated to creating the best possible environment for consumers and the industry is an essential platform for the long-term performance of the sector.”

Optimistically, Mr Mckibbin has called for both consumers and agents to use the delay to write to local members to generate support for the Bill – especially given the $9 billion contribution the real estate market has made to the state’s coffers.

“The continued strong performance of the real estate market is in our collective interest,” he said.

“This depends on consumers having confidence to deal with properly-trained professionals in transactions that are inherently stressful, always complex and always involve large sums of money.”

“By the NSW Government’s own acknowledgement, a strong real estate market has never been more important. Our economic recovery depends on it,” concluded Mr McKibbin.

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