by Mal James & Gina Kantzas

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Money is historically cheap, opportunity will be good.”

Gerald Delany and Greg Hocking

The sun is shining, and the planets may well be realigning soon.


So, with this in mind – where are the Top End markets at in Lockdown 2?


Where are agents, buyers and sellers at in Lockdown 2?


We decided to find out by speaking to 11 of the best – all of them since Sunday.


Rob, Arch, Madeline, David, Geordie, Michael, Greg, Jen, Gerald, Marcus and Steve were all upbeat (ok sick of Netflix, no parties and home schooling) AND apart from some small whining about government communication, everybody was respectful of the health and economic roles we all had to play, in the community, now and going forward.


Here are their summarised thoughts. Simple, concise and truthful.


Fact based and on the ground, from Balwyn to Black Rock, Carlton to Toorak.


This is what is really happening.


There is a very strong feeling, that overall it is going to be ok, the markets will start out from Lockdown 2 hot and next year is too far away to be thinking about!

Market in a Minute

Breathe and relax. We like to control in our game, but we can't control this. Be kind to yourself.

Geordie Dixon


Try and get your lifestyle balance right. Get better at something real estate or something personal. Do something to create a sense of achievement.

Madeline Kennedy


Don’t be too hard on yourself – set yourself some goals around activity and connection. You don’t need a list of meaningless calls.

Steve Abbott

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In Melbourne real estate, in 2020 - if they can't touch it, then they won't buy it. The market can work without auctions, but it cannot work without one on one inspections.

Online auctions can work with one on one inspections. No crowd issues and transactions will occur.

Online inspections do not work for the market to function in Melbourne's higher end in 2020.

Executive Summary


The difference between a good market and no market is 1 on 1 private inspections versus online inspections.  


The market can work with online auctions or without any auctions. The market in 2020/21 cannot work without 1 on 1 private inspections. Online inspections do not work.


The industry believes it can be Covid safe with 1 on 1 inspections with Health department guidance. 



1. Get your goals and shortlists clear.

2. Get your finances sorted.

3. Build you relationships with agents – as properties may not last the full campaign length.


1. Don’t be in the market now, however get going about 2 weeks before lockdown is over, to begin creating enquiry.

2. Don’t compromise your campaign by going to market without good presentation.

3. Chin up, the market is expected to be strong pre Christmas, if you price to it!


1. Stay connected to your peers and group. Perhaps a Zoom beer night. 

2. Take 2 weeks off during this next month, as its going to be a busy Christmas.

3. Communicate to clients (they want to hear from you, as some are anxious) OR it will be harder to start up again post lockdown. However, do it in short blocks – don’t be “on” the whole Lockdown 2 time.

Nobody is doing lots of deals, most of us are doing absolutely none. Don’t worry about numbers, you/we will get through this and there will be work on the other side. Don’t worry about being productive all the time – you’ll be ok, you really will. Talk to your mates openly.

Requests of Health Department Please

The market needs 1 on 1 private inspections to function.


The market does not need public auctions to function. 


Yes to 1 on 1 inspections and we have a market.


No to 1 on 1 inspections and we have no market.


Large Street Auctions are a furphy in the discussion – the industry does not need them for now, as we have many other ways to buy and sell, such as private sale.  


Dan and Brett and no disrespect, if you want some market activity, the industry needs 1 on 1 private inspections permitted; if you don’t want market activity then ok, we accept that.



Be proactive as good homes will sell and are not guaranteed to wait around till end of campaign. Normal behaviour is recommended – if it feels right buy it, as stock may be limited, especially at the higher end. If it’s not priced correctly move on – there will be more.


Price correctly for as Arch Staver says – ” The pre Xmas market will be enthusiastic, but unforgiving about price.”


There are mixed views on whether or not we will have a strong January – but pre Xmas, if we can get one, then the market is expected by most, to be strong.

Requests of Health Department Please

The market needs 2 weeks before lockdown is over to prepare for sale, or else the industry may lose the entire pre Xmas market, due to bottlenecks for photos, TRADIES and general presentation. Agents feel the real estate industry is capable of following the rules – we do understand our community responsibilities. 

If the community misses the Christmas market, then the first market will not be till February, and that’s an issue for buyers and sellers half-way through their current transactions, with no home to go to.


The market is expected to be strong for well priced homes.


Money is the cheapest it has ever been.


Hopefully banks are on board. Get financially organised now!

What else?

All (unanimous) interviewed agents feel pent up demand.

And the long term?

1. Shelter is not a luxury
2. Residential Property is a sound investment and
3. When borders open, influx of buyers. Price could rise.


Rob Curtain

I reckon the Peninsula will boom between post lockdown and February. Sellers are using their holiday homes so they won’t send to market, and more buyers will want a local holiday home. That is simple demand up and supply down.

I say to all my fellow small businesses on the Peninsula – hang in there – we want you back.

Arch Staver

People are starting to consider dining rooms again.

Madeline Kennedy

Get on with it mentally – sooner rather later.

Make the most of now. This too shall pass. Look back and know you learnt something new or grew a little more as a result of Covid.

David Hart

Land only blocks could actually be sold ok, if buyers were allowed to drive past them.

I’ve got confidence in real estate – as a profession and as an investment.

Most of team meeting on Monday morning and 2 x 2x 2 walks – Tonight Harleys Beer garden on The BLOCK – ringing every person in our office to see if they are ok.

Geordie Dixon

Mal truth be known, I’ve enjoyed lockdown as it has been a chance to reconnect with some clients, my family and myself. My phone calls have gone from 2 minutes to 20 minutes.

Michael Armstrong

Good competition once lockdown is over – so it’s a market where you can sell. However, pricing will be hypersensitive as buyers will have some choice.

Jan 2021 will be the highest volume of transactions for a January ever!

Greg Hocking

I’m not so sure the market won’t start till after Christmas, due to lags.

One fundamental that hasn’t changed – historically lowest interest rates, willing lenders, banks have eased a bit – they want to lend money.

Jen Dwyer

If the lobbying of the government to shorten things works, then so be it – but it is what it is.

We live and work in areas of high desirability and the fundamentals of great real estate remain the same.

Gerald Delany

The Peninsula will boom this Summer.

Property is incredibly attractive with low interest rates. It’s a safe haven.

Marcus Chiminello

Hey I’m enjoying the next few weeks off and we are all in this together. There is no silver bullet but it will be ok! 

Buy when you need, rather than pick the market.

Steve Abbott

The industry has done a fantastic job to look inside itself and have a go and has evolved from an old slumber. This has proven we can make this work in 2020 and going forward.