Our weekly research blog feels like barely enough to keep up to date with the constant flurry of information and speculation regarding COVID-19. Last weekend, the first auctions were conducted since restrictions on public gatherings were tightened. According to Domain, there were 500 withdrawn Sydney auctions, and 352 resulting in a sale. The clearance rate? Estimated to be around 37 percent, down from 77 percent a month earlier. But amid this less-than-exciting data one would expect from a lockdown are some exciting new developments that are reshaping how real estate professionals and investors do business.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen much more technology integration in an industry that typically goes wanting. We have seen more virtual tours, online bidding and technologically driven contract negotiations. Here at Blue Wealth, tech has always been our bread and butter but COVID-19 has encouraged us to think more creatively about how we deploy it. First, our online collaboration is being refined through tools that enable us to work together from anywhere. We have also re-engineered our events so that we can continue educating our network through this strange, but temporary, period of our lives. As usual, our investment meetings and sales calls are available via videoconferencing and screen sharing. This enables us to continue finding the right fit for the right client who could be located anywhere in the world.
The truth is, some of our greatest opportunities emerge from crises. While the vast majority of the population are preoccupied with how poorly some world leaders are responding to the epidemic and how great others are, a small few among us will be using this time to recalibrate and take advantage of all the available opportunities. For one, interest rates have never been so low. There is also rarely a time with so little competition from other buyers in the real estate market. The supply of new property, which was already reaching record lows, is now getting lower. This will shift the balance of supply and demand for years in some markets. Amid this crisis are more opportunities than many of us could care to imagine, if only we would just reach out and grab them.
We should consider ourselves very privileged to endure an epidemic like this with so much technology available to us. This technology will save countless lives, offer protection to many jobs and the economy, as well as entertaining us as we wait things out in our living rooms. This technology could not have existed without the work of physicist Sir Isaac Newton. Newton, one of the most familiar names of scientific history, can be credited for revolutionising mathematics and physics with his theory of gravity, three laws of motion, calculus, as well as countless others. Many of these revolutionary discoveries and innovations took place during the plague of the 17th century while Newton was socially distancing. It is said that this time in isolation was his life’s most productive.
So, all in all, we can not only contemplate what opportunity lies beneath the surface of the COVID-19 epidemic, but also how an epidemic of yesteryear shaped the very lives we lead today.
What is it that you will accomplish as a result of this crisis?
If I have done the public any service this way, ’tis due to nothing but industry and a patient thought.
– Sir Isaac Newton