Tips for buying a property during COVID-19

Whilst coronavirus has brought with it a lot of uncertainty, there are some great benefits of buying property during COVID-19. Here they are...
27-04-2020 |

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown have created a lot of uncertainty around the way we conduct our jobs, lives and education. However, if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it is that now is an opportune time to purchase your next property if you have a secure job.

Real estate in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter regions has always been in high demand, which means there is often a lot of competition around price and availability of property. The current economy presents an opportunity to leverage government support and lower interest rates that mean buyers can get a good deal on their next investment.

We’ve pulled together our top tips to help you tackle purchasing your next property during the world health pandemic.

Make the most of low interest rates

We’re currently seeing fixed and variable home loan rates at a record low. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s cash rate is sitting at a record low of 0.25 per cent, which is a drop of one per cent compared to this time last year.

Whilst many home buyers were doing well to secure a fixed home loan with a three ahead of the decimal place just six months ago, today it is common to find home loan options that start with a two and get down to as little as 2.29 per cent.

If you have your deposit and are ready to buy, now is a good time to secure a good rate on your loan and lock it in under a fixed loan arrangement.

First home buyer? Make the most of the government’s new First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the Australian Government is consistently making changes to support Australians and the local economy. Earlier this year the government announced the First Home Deposit Scheme. The scheme aims to enable first home buyers to purchase a home with a deposit of as little as five per cent.

In the wake of the coronavirus, the government has extended the 90-day timeframe for finding a home to 180 days to help first home buyers make their first move on the property ladder.

For information on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme amid the coronavirus situation, click here.

Other forms of government assistance to help you purchase your next property are still in place

In addition, each state or territory government has its own version of the First Home Owner Grant as well as stamp duty exemptions that can help make purchasing easier. These are currently still in place, with information available at http://firsthome.gov.au/.

Social distancing has led to a new innovative way for you to buy a home

Whilst restrictions have been put in place regarding the operations of many businesses, real estate remains an important service for our economy and locals. After all, we will always need a place to live!

Whilst social distancing has created challenges around the way that buyers previously shopped for their next home, it’s led to really innovative and useful methods to make purchasing possible and easy.

Open houses are now being conducted privately, giving you the opportunity to walk through a potential home without the stress that comes with seeing and running into fellow buyers. This also means you have the full attention of the agent during your inspection, so you can ask all the questions you may have.

Our agents are also sharing video tours of properties so you can get real insight into the layout and features of the home before you even step through the door. This has been popular across the industry, with REA reporting an increase in digital inspection videos of 88 per cent in March/April. Engagement in 3D tours has also seen a dramatic 285 per cent increase over the same period.

Another change is the way auctions are being conducted. A large number of relators are using an online auction app through which house auctions can be conducted from the comfort of your own home! Read more about online auctions by clicking here. If the idea of making an offer in a crowded room put you off purchasing in an auction environment before, this change could be a very welcome one.

It’s a good time to negotiate on your new home

With a number of sellers ready to make their own move into their next property, now is a good time to negotiate an arrangement that works both for you, the buyer, and the seller. This might be around things like price or settlement terms. Your agent will be able to help you through that process.

We’re still open for business

Our agents are still at hand, helping our sellers and buyers to make their next move. Whilst the way we’ve evolved the way we work to meet the current climate, our ongoing delivery of outstanding customer service and results has maintained.

If you have any questions or would like assistance finding the right property for you, get in touch with us today on 02 4926 3933.