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Tale of Two Cities

By Robert Green

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us….” Charles Dickens

If you are unlucky enough to be holed up in Melbourne right now, you would have just found out that instead of entering the last week of level four restrictions, you’re instead facing the harsh reality of an extension until at least the end of the month. And if you’re looking to buy or sell a home in that city, you’ll now be unable to undertake or allow a physical inspection until at least October 26. In some ways, the worst of times.

On the other hand, the situation in Brisbane is entirely reversed. We have very low Covid-19 case numbers and by comparison, a high level of personal freedom – certainly the freedom to inspect and show property. In some ways, the best of times.

Within our city, though, the effects of Covid-19 have been polarising. On one extreme, there are those among us who are doing it really tough. If you’re in the travel or hospitality industries, or if you have a business that relies on international or cross-border commerce for example, stress levels are no doubt extreme and job keeper might be the only thing keeping you afloat. The headlines are full of predictions of gloom and news of what is now officially a recession.

But at the same time, a huge portion of the population are doing better than ever. Those who are working from home in safe jobs without any pay cut are gaining back hours of time every week not commuting and meanwhile saving a fortune on buying lunches. If you try to buy a car, a bottle of Moet, a jet ski, or even a plant, you’ll find stocks are largely depleted. Unable to travel out of state, many Queenslanders are spending up big on other things.

Amid all of this, the property market continues to fly, with a strong level of buyer activity matched to willing sellers. In August, Ray White Aspley Group has once again helped a record number of our clients transact. And there’s no signs of a slowdown – spending more time than ever at home, Australia’s love affair with property is only continuing to strengthen.

As far as recessions go, this has definitely been the strangest one yet.

All the best,

Robert Green

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