Online auctions, private inspections and virtual tours are some of the ways Newcastle real estate agents are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic.
The general sentiment from agents is that it is business as usual as far as the property market is concerned with no real impacts yet to be seen.
But Domain economist Trent Wiltshire expected change to come.
"The impact so far has been pretty muted," Mr Wiltshire said. "Clearance rates have been down a touch but they'll still be pretty solid numbers when they're finalised. They'll probably end up around 70 per cent in Sydney and 65 per cent in Melbourne
"Attendance at open inspections has fallen a bit over the past couple of weeks but are higher than a year ago. It's likely we'll see the market slow over the next couple of weeks. But we're headed into the Easter school holiday period which is typically a quiet few weeks, so it's going to be difficult to track how the market performs over the next month or so."
PRD Newcastle and Lake Macquarie have invested in state-of-the-art technology that allows buyers to take a virtual tour of a property, negotiate the price and terms of the sale and sign the contracts without setting foot on the property or having to meet with the agent.
"With social distancing in place and the need to be extra vigilant with sanitation and hand hygiene, sellers are naturally concerned about people coming through and touching surfaces and handles in their home," PRD Newcastle director Shula Kentwell said.
First National Newcastle City principal George Rafty reported still being "very busy" with up to 30 groups through some properties last weekend and strong auction results.
This weekend they are taking precautions by placing information regarding coronavirus at open homes, trialing staggered numbers through houses and offering vendors the option of not having inspections.
Buyers at auctions are also being offered online live streaming service where they can register and bid from the comfort of their own homes if they choose.
"Every day is evolving with what we're being told but, from my point of view, real estate is not about a short-term investment, it's about a long-term investment," Mr Rafty said. "The clever buyers and the buyers who aren't anxious will be out there shopping.
"As a buyer, you might find that you won't have as much competition as you may have had in January or February, which tells me that if there's not as many buyers there's potentially better opportunity for them and less competition.
"So we are in a market, I believe, that was starting to show some signs of growth but will be now more balanced. It's a good time for the buyer and seller, because if an owner is going to sell, they're probably going to buy in the same market anyway."
Anthony Merlo, of Dalton Partners The Junction, echoed the sentiments, saying he expected more "genuine" buyers in the market taking advantage of low interest rates.
Meanwhile, there have been a number of big sales reported in the past week, including the exchange of a reserve waterfront property in Valentine's exclusive Dilkera Avenue that was marketed with a guide of $2.95 million and sold within 14 days for an undisclosed sum. The Newcastle Herald understands a new Adamstown record which broke the previous suburb high of $1.6 million was also set, and Swansea Heads had its second-highest sale, according to Australian Property Monitors.
PRD reported the sale of an original cottage that had been in the same family for over 75 years at 85 Albert Street in Wickham for $610,000 last weekend after its first open home.
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