REIV President Leah Calnan says that real estate is an essential industry that supports our state’s economy and must be allowed to continue its vital work during the Covid-19 crisis.

The REIV recently wrote to the Victorian Government calling for real estate services to be regarded as an essential service, in the event of further restrictions in response to the Coronavirus.

REIV President Leah Calnan said real estate services and transactions must be safeguarded during these chaotic times.

“While the provision of shelter itself is clearly an essential need, real estate professionals play a critical role in enabling the sale and purchase and ongoing management of shelter.” Ms Calnan said.

“The real estate profession has acted quickly and responsibly in response to Covid-19 and applied many safeguards, procedures and invested in new technology such as virtual reality inspections and online auctions.”

“Real estate services must be deemed essential to ensure the ongoing provision of shelter and to protect the property market and broader economy from collapsing.”

“Victorian real estate transactions contribute billions of dollars to the State and Local Governments through stamp duty revenue and other property-related taxes and expenses.”

The real estate industry is one of the largest contributors to the state’s GDP and is one of its largest employers.

“The property market is the cornerstone of the Victorian economy. Any risk to its trading would have a disastrous impact on all Victorians from both a personal and economic perspective.”

“Despite Coronavirus, the need to buy and sell property remains. Although property sales will inevitably slow, and there will be owners who will have no other choice but to sell their properties”.

“During times of economic uncertainty, people are often moved to take their money off the stock market and invest in bricks and mortar.”

“Property sales are sometimes necessary to avoid financial ruin. An inability to buy and sell property would exacerbate financial difficulties, crush confidence and potentially, negatively impact property values.”

“During a moratorium on evictions, property managers can work through any government directives with tenants and landlords to assist in negotiations and ensure understanding by all parties involved.”

“As the real estate peak body, the REIV is committed to providing education, resources and advice to the real estate community to ensure that real estate services can continue to be provided in a responsible and safe manner.”