An expat couple secured a Northcote warehouse conversion in an off-market sale while still living in the US.
The pair picked up 3/6 Westfield St for $1.11m in a sale style that has flourished during the coronavirus lockdown.
“They bought their home from the comfort of their lounge room in America,” Industry Insider director Andrew Date said.
Mr Date added the buyers, who have a son and plan to have another child, would rent the Northcote property out until they moved back to Melbourne in a few years’ time.
It’s part of a trend that first emerged during the initial lockdown period and continued amid the second wave.
“There are record levels of off-market sales,” Mr Date said.
The buyer’s advocate said 60 per cent of his transactions have been off market, well above his pre-COVID-19 average of 20 per cent.
“One of the main reasons right now (that) stock levels are so low is because people are fearful of having strangers through their home,” Mr Date said.
He said sight-unseen sales would likely become more common due to low mobility and heightened vendor fears.
Barry Plant Glenroy agent Roy Khoder said there was starting to be “a lot of those sales happening”.
Mr Khoder sold 128 Evell St, Glenroy for $1.33m without conducting any inspections of the property.
The three-bedroom house, which sold for the first time in 45 years, is expected to be leased out before being developed.
“Buyers will always take a drive past but don’t require an inspection — it’s become very common that we sell properties that way.”