First National Basso April Easter Update

First National Basso April Easter Update


From all the team at First National Basso, we would like to wish you and your families a safe and happy Easter Break.


As First National’s membership responds to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, it’s important we all communicate clearly about what actions are being taking with different customers.

The network is continuously monitoring all Australian Government Department of Health advice and is updating operational guidelines.

Please be mindful that the COVID-19 advice from the government is changing rapidly.

COVID 19- Unchartered territory

Despite the escalating Coronavirus crisis in March, housing values continued to rise throughout the month, by 0.7%, (according to CoreLogic) however, the rate of capital gain began to slow in the second half of the month as confidence started to wane and social distancing measures were tightened.

How will the property market perform in the coming months?

The CoreLogic hedonic index for March indicates a slowing of growth rates in the second half of March – the result of tighter social distancing measures announced by the government as well as the banning of open home inspections and traditional auctions. Without a doubt, the longer it takes to contain Coronavirus, the greater the impacts will be on employment and the wider economy.
However, with very early signs that government initiatives are potentially slowing the spread, it’s possible that the market will begin to recover in spring, after lower stock levels and potentially softer results throughout the autumn and winter seasons.
Considering the unprecedented government stimulus, leniency from lenders for distressed borrowers and record low-interest rates, housing values are likely to be somewhat insulated.

Which markets will fare well and which won’t?

The premium sector of the marketplace always demonstrates the most price elasticity and has been leading the pace of gains throughout the quarter. It is, of course, now the sector showing the fastest decline in growth rates. More affordable price ranges will be less affected.

What will drive the market?

The property market is always driven by confidence, so it’s to be expected that rates of growth will slow in alignment with those lower levels of confidence. However, low-interest rates and the likelihood of lower levels of stock available for sale will help underpin and slow any decline in values.

What will prompt a recovery?

If there are signs that the spread of the virus is being effectively slowed to levels that can be managed by the nation’s health services through April and May, confidence is likely to rebound – leading to a recovery by spring.

How can investors manage risks?

It’s vital that investors assure they and their tenants are accessing all financial support available from federal and state governments, be realistic about re-negotiating rents to retain tenants – where possible – and cut all non-essential expenditure to ride this next period out.

How will the property market perform in the coming months?

The CoreLogic hedonic index for March indicates a slowing of growth rates in the second half of March – the result of tighter social distancing measures announced by the government as well as the banning of open home inspections and traditional auctions. Without doubt, the longer it takes to contain Coronavirus, the greater the impacts will be on employment and the

Financial Hardship

Claims of financial hardship rapidly increase

In recent weeks, all First National Real Estate offices have experienced an unprecedented spike in Coronavirus (COVID-19) hardship claims from our tenants.

With potentially a million or more Australians anticipated to lose their jobs or be stood-down as a result of business closures or restrictions, many of our tenants are concerned about how they will manage to pay the rent.

The Federal Government has flagged a six-month moratorium on evictions related to COVID-19 hardship, with the states and territories to be responsible for the implementation of the rules.

At the time of writing, we await the government’s advice as to how such an arrangement will work.

How will First National respond if my tenant can’t pay the rent?

Our first priority is to assure your tenant is aware of the substantial financial support available through Centrelink as well as any state or territory government emergency assistance.

We will follow all necessary procedures to assure that any Landlord Insurance policy applicable to your property is not compromised, should a claim be necessary.

We will also explain that a moratorium on evictions does not mean your tenant can avoid paying the rent. If they can afford to pay the rent, they must continue to do so.
If they cannot pay the rent now, a rental payment plan will be canvassed in consultation with you. (evidence required)

In the event that your tenant is completely unable to pay any rent, we understand the government’s intent is to apply a six-month grace period, but your tenant will be required to catch up. We will, of course, consult with you as the rules of the moratorium’s implementation become clear.

Hardship relief

As the hardships of Coronavirus make themselves felt across Australia, both tenants and landlords can expect to have to share the load. First National Real Estate is doing everything it can to make access to government support as easy as possible.

Tenants who have lost their job

If your tenant has lost their job and is concerned about falling into arrears, we are asking them to:

• Immediately advise their property manager
• Apply for financial assistance from Centrelink
• Speak to energy providers for assistance and payment plans
• Read the Australian Government Department of Social Services FAQ
• And, as a last resort, discuss the possibility of making a payment agreement with the landlord ( evidence required)

We are well prepared to educate tenants about the unprecedented financial support on offer from government and other alternatives. For example:

• The Coronavirus Supplement – $550 per fortnight to new and existing income support recipients from 27 April 2020 for six months
• The two Economic Support Payments – $750 available to Social Security and Veterans Income Support recipients, Farm Household Allowance (FHA) recipients, Family Tax Benefit recipients & holders of Pensioner Concession Cards, Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards & Commonwealth Gold Cards (Second round of payments on July 10)
• Crisis Payment – For students and those in financial hardship and needing to self-isolate, we’re encouraging contact with Services Australia so they can be granted a ‘Major Personal Crisis’ exemption, without having to provide evidence such as a medical certificate.

• Assistance directly from utility providers
• Additional state & territory government emergency support initiatives
While it’s impossible to predict every challenge our customers will face in the coming months, our intention is to work through each specific challenge with the goal of securing tenancies and assuring continuity of rental payments.


In response to the Australian Government Department of Health recommendations related to Coronavirus, First National Real Estate is strictly observing all necessary health precautions. Rental open homes have therefore been cancelled, as have traditional auctions, and we are offering private inspection appointments instead.

We’re avoiding direct contact, such as shaking hands, observing social distancing requirements, deferring non-essential property inspections, and working with clients responsively on specific arrangements where necessary.

These temporary changes are intended to underpin the essential functions of the property market as well as to reassure landlords and tenants that all necessary precautions are being observed.

While the presence of Coronavirus certainly requires us to observe all sensible precautions, the business of real estate continues and it’s essential that we support tenants who need to find homes as well as the needs of our landlords.

In all respects, we’re getting on with the job of renting and managing the property at First National and optimistically working with our community as Australia responds to the effects of Coronavirus.

Working in a Pandemic

The evolving Coronavirus pandemic has changed the very fabric of Australian life and the real estate industry has found it necessary to respond quickly to continuously changing Federal Government advice.

First National Real Estate has been on the front foot, right from the outset. Our network’s motto is ‘We put you first’ and, as such, we are monitoring all federal, state and territory health department announcements on a continuous basis.

Amongst our very first changes were the implementation of strict protocols around each office’s operations and hygiene methods. All offices were issued with internal posters concerning:

• Good hygiene requirements within offices
• Changed operational guidelines for property managers
• Changed operational guidelines for salespeople
We have responded rapidly to social distancing measures, cancelled all open home inspections, and shifted traditional auctions to online methods with no impacts on our home sellers.

A newly implemented Private Inspection Protocol has allowed a seamless adaption of our operations to enable continuity of service for our home sellers and tenants. It works like this:

1. You explore our photos, 3D floorplans and virtual tours via our website
2. You email or phone for more information
3. We send more detailed information in the form of an eBook
4. If you wish to inspect, we confirm you haven’t returned from overseas in the past 14 days and that you’re not living with somebody who’s in self isolation
5. A private inspection appointment is scheduled
6. Remaining discussions and negotiations are conducted via phone, video conference and/or other online systems

When the time comes to inspect our client’s home or rental property, these are the rules:

  1. No personal contact – no shaking hands
  2. Maximum of two people (including the agent)
  3. Social distancing – 1.5m
  4. No touching – our staff open anything you wish to inspect


Please be mindful that the COVID-19 advice from the government is changing rapidly.

If you are interested in the area or would like to know more about living on the Mornington Peninsula. Please feel free to contact our office Click Here for Details.

If you are interested in the Real Estate Market and want to find out the prices of recently sold properties, you can download our FREE report HERE.

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Paul Basso

Author Paul Basso

Established in 2000, First National Basso is a business based on transparency, honesty, personal service and trust. With a commitment to innovation, First National Basso has continually evolved and grown to become one of the longest running and most trusted real estate teams on the Mornington Peninsula.

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