From lockdowns to records

By Jack Hayes

For many businesses, particularly those in central Melbourne, it has been a slow awakening from a post-COVID slumber, but not for Lucas Real Estate.

Posting an all-time sales record for the month of February, Lucas Real Estate sold 59 properties between January 1 and March 31, ranging in price from $300,000 to just under $4 million.

In a move away from trend, more than 90 per cent of those properties were sold to owner-occupiers, according to Lucas Real Estate sales manager, Mark Sutherland.

“We have also seen buyers doing a ‘flipped weekender’ where they live and work from home in the country or beach during the week and then come into the city for the weekend,” he said.

“We have met buyers selling their homes in the suburbs and moving the majority of their life to country and seaside, but they still want that access and accommodation in Melbourne and there aren’t many better places than Docklands.”

Mr Sutherland said much of the buying influx was due to stamp duty exemptions for first home buyers purchasing property valued up to $600,000 and stamp duty concessions for first home buyers purchasing property between $600,001 and $750,000.

Coupled with record low interest rates, which, according to Mr Sutherland, won’t change anytime soon, Melbourne, and Docklands, was seeing pleasing signs of confidence across all price points.

“There has been a number of things that have driven these results. Although we have all seen widespread job losses in certain sectors, we have also seen a number of individuals who have managed to remain in secure work, save money throughout lockdown and are now keen to buy property,” Mr Sutherland said.

“Especially with a lot of our time in 2020 spent at home, people have had time to assess their own living conditions and made decisions to scale-up or down-size based on what they need to live comfortably or work from home.”

Along with record-breaking sales, Lucas Real Estate has also been honoured with a swath of accolades in the highly anticipated 2021 RateMyAgent awards.

The Docklands-based agency won Agency of the Year for Docklands Property Management, Docklands Sales and Port Melbourne Property Management. The business also placed third for Top 5 Agency in Melbourne, scored another third for Top 10 Agency in Victoria and was eighth in the Top 100 Agency in Australia category.

“It’s been one of the most unique and chal- lenging years many of us have ever faced and not only is it a privilege to be recognised by our industry but, more importantly, by our clients who have continued to support us to provide our market-leading services,” Lucas Real Estate director, Dylan Emmett said.

The awards come as vindication for an agency and industry that was brought to its knees at the start of 2020.

However, throughout all the lockdowns, pivots, zoom calls and online inspections, the feather in Lucas Real Estate’s cap was not one littered with shining awards, but rather its abil- ity to keep every member of staff on its books throughout an employment busting pandemic.

“We were incredibly conscience about mak- ing sure our team and community were looked after. Whether it be by checking in on a friend, colleague or customers, the sense of community around Docklands was never stronger than through lockdown,” Mr Sutherland said •

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