The reality of buying in lockdown in Sydney

Did you know that compared to the first lockdown in Sydney last year, there are actually fewer properties for sale now than there was back then? 
According to SQM Research, total property listings are down six per cent compared to April last year, which was a time of extraordinary unease for all of us.  

Back then, the pandemic was so fresh, and so unprecedented, that no one really knew what lay ahead of us when it came to our health and to our livelihoods.   

That’s why the reduction in listings made sense, given vendors didn’t know what was ahead, so they decided not to proceed with the sale of their properties. 
That nervousness also saw sales fall significantly over that first lockdown period – down more than 30 per cent across the nation, according to CoreLogic research. 
With fewer properties for sales, and even fewer sales occurring, it stands to reason that property prices weren’t overly impacted las year. 
Listings down but prices up 
The thing is, during this lockdown we are seeing same, same, but different occurring when it comes to local property markets.   
In the inner west and eastern suburbs of Sydney there remains extremely strong demand from buyers, which is the polar opposite of last year.  
But, like last year, there has been a significant reduction in listings available for sale during the latest lockdown in Sydney.  

Indeed, according to Domain, new listing volumes have dropped by up to 70 to 80 per cent in local government areas facing tougher restrictions. 

Plus, the number of homes put on the market across Greater Sydney over the four weeks to August 1 was down 19.9 per cent from the previous four-week period. 

However, the reasons why some vendors are pulling their properties off the market this time around are probably less to do with worrying about the future as was the main motivation last year. 
Rather, they may (falsely in my opinion) be believing that they won’t achieve a strong sales price when traditional open homes or auction campaigns are not currently allowed.  
The current reduction in listings is also due to more vendors opting to sell their properties before auction than may have done if the lockdown had not occurred.  
That said, I’m sure most would still be very happy with the price they achieved, given the Sydney median dwelling value has skyrocketed 18.2 per cent over the year to December, with the majority of the growth in the past six months alone.  
What does it all mean? 
Well, it means that buying property in lockdown restrictions still exists and happens every single day – whether or not buyers can leave their homes or not. 
In fact, I have continued to buy for our clients since the lockdown started, by using my strong local networks, technology, and the fact that private inspections are still allowed.  
Sure, you need to make an appointment to inspect properties individually, and auctions are happening virtually, but properties are still selling – and for solid prices, too.  
The current reduction in the volume of listings for sale is supporting and strengthening prices, which means that people who are searching for a “lockdown bargain” are wasting their time.  

But, very similar to the scenario last year, it is the buyers who are remaining active when others are not that are set to achieve the best results in the long run.  

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