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Coronavirus has failed to stop some big new property deals being signed in Melbourne

13 August 2020

Melbourne is in the middle of a second strict COVID lockdown but it hasn’t stopped property developers finalising new deals to build thousands of homes.

It’s a real show of confidence in the face of pandemic fears and suggests developers see things returning to normal quickly post-virus.

Real estate agents say price falls haven’t been too steep, with values dropping to similar levels seen last year.

Prices do look set to remain soft for some time however, as employment and migration figures are predicted to remain weak.

The ABC this week reported on a $53 million deal to develop 1,500 new homes in Donnybrook that was set up in November but only just signed last month.

The specialist investment bank behind the deal was Gersch Investment Partners and executive chairman Joe Gersch spoke to the ABC.

"The [investors] looked at this dispassionately," he said.

"They believe in Australia, they believe in Melbourne. They're not deterred by the current situation."

Another big deal is a 500-home construction build-to-rent development in Brunswick between Mirvac and Milieu.

"We really see COVID as a bit of a speed bump not dissimilar to the dip in the market of about two years ago" Jason Goldsworthy, national manager of build-to-rent for Mirvac, told the ABC.

"We've got another 1,000 apartments being delivered in Victoria under this same model."

These build-to-rent developments have the developers construct and own apartment buildings and then let them to tenants for long terms.

It’s deals like these that show all is certainly not lost amid the current coronavirus lockdown gloom.

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