Open for inspections and on-site auctions will start again this weekend as real estate restrictions ease in NSW, while Victoria and Queensland remain in a virtual lockdown.
The state with the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country follows the lead of WA and NT who lifted some restrictions last week.
The end of a six-week limited shutdown would enable traditional real estate practices to resume in Sydney; providing people maintained physical distancing during inspections and only one person or household per 4sq m at an auction.
This follows a combined national 60 per cent drop in the total number of auctions on the weekend ending May 3 compared to the same time last year.
According to Corelogic Sydney was down to 269 auctions, compared to 539 last year, Melbourne 210 (from 672), Brisbane 41 (from 93) Adelaide 29 (from 64) and Canberra 31 (from 54).
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the relaxing the restrictions in his state was a sign of the ongoing success in limiting the spread of Covid-19.
“The real estate industry has been adaptable in transitioning to online auctions, property inspections by appointment or online,” Perrottet said.
“Now as we make the move back to a more normal mode of operation we must ensure safety measures such as social distancing remain a key part of the process.
“If we want to keep as many people in jobs as possible and businesses in business it is important to follow the safety advice and not put others at risk.”
NSW minister for health Brad Hazzard said these measures were vital to ensure the safety of customers, property owners and real estate staff as a more traditional face-to-face way of inspections and auctions re-commenced.
“The community has done an outstanding job in limiting the spread of Covid-19 and we need to make sure we continue to exercise vigilance and care,” Hazzard said.
“Real estate agents should limit the number of people viewing a property and attending an auction, follow stringent cleaning and safety guidelines, ensure clients do not touch surfaces and always have hand sanitiser available.”
The Northern Territory has the clearest “road-map” for easing restrictions which started on 1 May for auctions and inspections as well as weddings, gatherings and shopping providing social distancing was maintained.
The state-wide restrictions would lift again on 15 May to include most activities under two hours in duration and finally on 5 June things would be back to normal providing Covid-19 cases remained low or zero.
In Western Australia, up to 10 people were allowed to attend inspections or village displays from 27 April however auctions on-site were prohibited.
Meanwhile Covid-19 real estate restrictions put in place by prime minister Scott Morrison on 24 March remain in place for Queensland, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania and South Australia.