A personal message from David Newton

In these unprecedented times I thought I would reach out to you and answer the most popular question at the moment and a few others but firstly I would like to personally thank you for your business, support and understanding in this rapidly changing environment and, most importantly, to let you know that we are here to support you in any way we can.

Q: How is the Shire Real Estate Market reacting to the Covid-19 Crisis
After a very strong start to the year with growth of around 14% (according to CoreLogic) it's too early to tell what lasting affect the current crisis is having on sale prices but it certainly has given some buyers and sellers cause to pause and this is reflected in the lower number of properties coming onto the market. Interestingly there are still plenty of buyers motivated to buy and while we have seen a drop in some properties values initially around the time a pandemic was declared we are now seeing stability rather than growth in values for now. As always with any significant change in the economy, interest rates, or consumer confidence there are always those hoping for the opportunity of lower prices but based on our sales in the last month we are seeing good values recorded in line with the previous month. These opportunistic conditions continue to bring buyers to the market and let's face it - who of us hasn’t been to a sale and instead of the items discounted they end up buying something for full price. The same is true in real estate as it is quite an emotional long term purchase.

Demand for rental property, while less than last month, is still good with the Newton Property Management Team receiving over 600 rental enquires for the last month and leasing 16 properties as a result. We have, of course, had several enquiries from our existing tenants who have been dramatically affected recently. Some of the stories of adversity are heart wrenching, and we are working hard with our wonderful investor owners to negotiate rental relief/deferment packages on a case by case basis as well as waiting for guidance from the government on this very complex issue.

Legislation will come into place this week to prevent eviction of tenants who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 Crisis. It is not an across the board ban and we have a strategy in place for tenants to detail their situation for the owner to consider and to check for compliance.

While the media seems to focus on the negative results of the current situation we are particularly heartened by the acts of kindness, understanding and willingness for people to step up to help others who, in some cases, they don’t even know. It’s the true Shire Spirit in action!

In particular I would like to take a moment to thank our “front liners” the health care workers, who despite obvious personal risks continue to do what they do best in looking after the rest of us, and our teachers too (both the paid ones and the recently inducted “home school” ones) who have had to adapt quickly to a whole new world of education. They are our real Heroes!

Q: Are you open?
YES, we are definitely open and although various government restrictions and our personal efforts regarding safety and contributing to “flattening the curve” have meant we are changing many of our operational activities, we are still selling and renting properties. Our reception team and accounts are still based in the office to handle your enquiry on (02)9524 0777 or [email protected]

Q: Can I come to the office
YES, however we have changed our reception to “Contactless” from Wednesday 1st April and with new operating hours of 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 10am to 2pm. While we won't be inviting you into the office you can drop off items through our mail slot in the front door or larger items to our back door, in the car park off Burns Lane, by appointment. We have video security in place for your protection and anything received or distributed (like keys) will be disinfected.

Q: Can I view a property for sale or rent?
YES, while open houses have been banned at government direction we are still conducting private inspections for all our available properties. Please book these Monday to Saturday either though our office on (02) 9524 0777 our website property listings:




Or on any of the major real estate portals:



We have put various protocols in place which you will be informed of, including a health questionnaire to complete, when you make a booking to protect your, our team's and our client's safety.

With strict social distancing measures in place, the real estate industry has had to rapidly adapt when it comes to home inspections. Rest assured that you are still able to view property. While public open homes are no longer allowed, we are now conducting one-on-one inspections by appointment. We are also encouraging vendors to include a state-of-the-art virtual tour in their marketing package so buyers can enjoy a detailed walk-through of the property from the comfort of their own home. This will help them decide whether the property warrants a personal inspection. Virtual tours and walkthrough videos are a fantastic tool that expat buyers have long relied on and they’re now a major part of local buyers’ property search. At private inspections, our team are taking every measure to ensure the safety of everyone. We are enforcing social distancing, providing sanitiser and request you refrain from touching anything within the property.

Q: What about auctions?
Public auctions are no longer allowed so all of our auctions will now be carried out online via auctioneer Damien Cooley’s revolutionary platform AuctionNow. The process is straightforward and user friendly. Bidding can be done over the phone or via the AuctionNow app from the comfort of your lounge room and all auctions are available to view in real time. Our team are available via FaceTime or Zoom to walk you through the process to ensure you feel comfortable and prepared when bidding online via the app.

Q: With many countries borders closed, what about overseas buyers?
For those who are holding certain foreign currencies such as the US Dollar, Chinese Yuan or Euros, Australian property just got around 10% cheaper thanks to our falling dollar. Consequently we have seen an increase in enquiry rates from overseas buyers and expats, which could prove to be a much-needed bolster for our local market during these trying times.

Q: What does the future hold for Real Estate values in The Shire?
Well, I ask you, where else would you want to live? We are so lucky to call Australia and in particular The Shire home and I think anything like this will only reinforce that value. I personally wouldn’t want to self isolate anywhere else in the world!

Finally, I’d like to thank my loyal, hard-working team for doing what they do so well and adapting in every way to the “new world” as we are calling it. As they know too well we have a plan to get through all this and as our Prime Minister Scott Morrison says “we are all on the bridge to the other side” - and get to the other side we will, together!

If you need any assistance with anything please don’t hesitate to contact us, either to our teams directly:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Or simply email me direct on [email protected] or call on 0408 242 717 as I’d love to help in any way I can.

Best Wishes
David Newton