Rural property agents are confident rural property values will remain high despite the sector having to confront a 'new normal' with inspections.
The positive news is that onsite inspections are proceeding, but they are being completed differently, with single appointments, and social distancing rules used.
One agent asks a prospective buyer to drive at a distance behind them as they inspect the property.
Clearance rates are high, for instance in South Australia in the past year, Ray White Rural had a 100 per cent clearance rate even despite the height of the drought.
Webster Nolan principal David Nolan said his agency had eight high-class rural properties worth over $40 million ready to sell, but it was holding back from putting them on the market for a number of weeks until the market settled after a plethora of government coronavirus restrictions.
But Mr Nolan was extremely confident rural property values would remain high through the year.
Some see rural property as a safe haven, and recent rain has only added to confidence in the sector. A clampdown on foreign investment is not expected to affect the market as well, as local interest is strong. Mr Nolan said the sales Webster Nolan had ready to go would not be listed until the coronavirus situation settled.
"We will regroup in the second and third week of April and then see how we go from there," he told The Land.
"We just want to let the waters settle." All the publicity campaigns and photographs and media were ready to go for all the properties.
"We're getting good interest right across the board. Actually things in the market are quite normal and we don't see any downward change at all to rural land values. There is strong demand for it still. We just want to get March and April out of the way so we can get a bit of a sense of what's happening."
Colliers International is proceeding with the online auction of a prime southern Monaro property on May 7 with the property expected to reach over $5000 a hectare ($2000 an acre).
Colliers agent Henry Mackinnon said there had been strong interest in the Bibbenluke property, Mooresprings, 1,107ha. It was bought by local graziers Terry and Leanne Moreing in 2008 to become the new home of their Morfield Hereford stud. An online auction will be held on SoldOnline.com.au.
Mr Mackinnon said inspections were continuing on farm at this stage, but in separate vehicles with one prospective buyer at a time.
"We will follow each other and stop three or four times and have a discussion. We've had eleven inspections already for Mooresprings and there's been a fair bit of interest."
Rural properties were finding a market as a safe haven not only for people, but for investment, and low interest rates were helping.
"There is still a lot of demand for A-grade livestock assets and we expect it will hold firm whilst livestock prices are strong despite the circumstances with COVID-19."
Ray White Rural South Australia director Geoff Schell said he was busy getting more properties ready for sale after a good year, achieving a 100 per cent clearance rate. Online auctions were already pretty much par for the course in the industry. There was also no physical exchange of documents with buyers or vendors. "We don't hand anything over, it's all electronic."