Sydney to Resume Property Auctions as Virus Curbs Are Relaxed

Sydney will allow open-house property inspections and public auctions to restart from next weekend in the latest easing of restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The move will be a major boost for the New South Wales property market, which has seen transaction volumes collapse as social-distancing measures brought an end to traditional selling practices.

Unlike other countries, individual inspections of properties are rare in Australia’s major cities, with realtors typically putting homes on show twice a week to encourage as many people as possible to visit. These open houses, which are combined with onsite public auctions and often attract crowds of onlookers, werebanned in March.

“Easing the restrictions to ensure people can more easily inspect, buy or rent a property is an important step for NSW,” New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a statement Sunday.

The industry will still need to ensure that physical distancing and hygiene measures are maintained, Perrottet said, urging the public to exercise commonsense.

“If people are not genuinely in the market for a new home, now is not the time to be having a look through their neighbor’s house,” he said.

The relaxation of the rules comes as Australia’s success in flattening the coronavirus infection curve means aspects of the economy are slowly starting to re-openahead of schedule.

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