The sharks are circling Melbourne’s COVID-hit inner-city apartments

Investors are swooping in on the COVID-hit inner-city apartment market as Melbourne begins its slow exit out of restrictions.

Real estate agents are seeing a spike in investor inquiries as they try to capitalize on desperate sellers with empty apartments who want a quick sale.

Lucas Real Estate director Baden Lucas told Domain that despite some low-ball offers made on Docklands apartments, vendors weren’t yet just handing them over.

“There haven’t been investors listing properties in droves,” he said.

“But certainly we’ve had people that are moving between investments.”

While the number of new apartments listed for sale has surged in recent weeks, listings are still way down on the same time last year.

Tim Blackett from Kay & Burton in South Yarra said lack of stock, first-home buyers armed with government incentives and downsizers were boosting the inner-city market. 

“Anything sub-$1 million is selling really well,” he told Domain.

“We have some investor clients looking to buy into the market.

“They want to buy into newer blocks where agents may be a little bit more negotiable on price.”

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver suggested more distressed sales could hit the market when JobKeeper/JobSeeker payments and bank mortgage holidays dry up.

“If you’re an apartment owner in the inner-city area, maybe you’re feeling that you don’t have to do anything because there’s no real pressure to do anything right now,” he told  Domain.

“The mortgage holidays and the income support measures will come to an end.

“That crunch point may come later this year or early next year.”


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