Australia

Inspections ban remains on commercial property

Commercial property inspections remain banned in Melbourne, despite the key restriction easing for residential listings on Monday.

One-on-one physical inspections of offices, retail stores, warehouses, cafes, restaurants, and other commercial listings are still off-limits under Victoria’s coronavirus road map.

CBRE head of retail leasing Zelman Ainsworth said it was a surprise to the industry that rules had not loosened for residential and commercial properties at the same time, as originally outlined by the state government.

RELATED: Commercial lease vacancies: Melbourne CBD hit hardest

Louis Vuitton building: Collins Street landmark for sale with $50m price expectations

Melbourne lockdown: private inspection ban eased ahead of schedule

He said the ban was a blow to many “struggling” Melbourne landlords who had lost tenants during the pandemic.

“The longer it takes to get face-to-face meetings again, the longer it will take to start filling shops,” Mr Ainsworth said.

“We had a number of pent-up inspections and meetings we were hoping to lock-in for this week and it’s very disappointing we have to hold off.”

Vacant stores would likely stay empty until inspections returned, hurting the CBD and inner-city retail strips that had been particularly damaged by the pandemic, he said.

“Both tenants and landlords are eager to start doing business, but the limitations are creating delays,” Mr Ainsworth said.

“It’s really hard to plan for what’s next as the rules seem to be changing.”

WB Simpson & Sons partner Richard Simpson said the industry was “very disappointed” by the move to distinguish commercial and residential properties in the coronavirus road map.

“Lots of landlords have empty properties that they can’t lease, and many of these landlords have lost their jobs or are self-funded retirees,” Mr Simpson said.

“Government support for self-funded retirees is minimal, so a lot of people are hurting.”

Large and vacant commercial spaces were in many ways “safer” to inspect than private homes, he added.

“We’re advocating for the government to reconsider the decision immediately, but at a minimum allow commercial inspections to return at the next step of the road map,” he said.

Mr Simpson also noted regional Victoria’s coronavirus road map kept rules consistent for commercial and residential listings.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria confirmed it was meeting with state government officials and advocating for coronavirus rules to allow private physical inspections for all property types.

The Department of Health and Human Services was contacted for comment.

Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said there was pent-up demand from investors for Melbourne’s commercial listings.

“There is still a lot of confidence that things will return to normal in Melbourne after the pandemic … there’s a belief that the city will bounce back,” Ms Conisbee said.

“Retail figures did see a sharp recovery after the first lockdown, so there are a lot of people still willing to make a big investment in the city.”

READ MORE: Morning Star estate, Mount Eliza, sells after attracting global interest

Rent reductions: JobKeeper and JobSeeker cuts to hurt Victorian tenants

Melbourne lockdown: surging demand as private inspection ban lifts

Football news:

Pirlo on Ronaldo's optimal position: Start from the left inside and move to the center. He can play alongside Morata or Dybala
Mikhail Butovsky is probably the best doctor in our sport. A serious conversation about rudeness to doctors, salaries and leaving CSKA and Spartak
Naumov about the defeats of Zenit, Loko and Krasnodar in the RPL after the Champions League: Lack of professionalism in the players and the ability of the coaches
Ronaldo violated the coronavirus Protocol. An investigation is underway. Italian sports Minister on the departure of the player from Turin
Sports Director of Khimki about 2:0 with Rostov: We proved that we are a team and can win on the road
Jaka defeated Arsenal and Leicester did not create anything except the goal. We will try to take points from Manchester United
Pirlo about 1:1 with Verona: Juve do not need a slap in the face to Wake up and play intensely