It is a reflection of our times and technology that property sales can keep ticking over despite lockdown screws tightening.

Last year we overcame the challenges of how to work in lockdown and this year we just needed to flick the switch.

No lockdown – physical auctions. Lockdown – online auctions.

So far, in Sydney and Melbourne, property auction rates are holding up well despite government attempts to crash and burn the economy.

Domain reports that auction clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne last weekend were 75% and 67% respectively. In the week before they were 73% (Sydney) and (76%) Melbourne.

Online auctions and online settlements have provided a bulwark against lockdowns. During the darkest days in 2020, auction clearance rates plummeted to below 35%.

As long as buyers can learn enough about a property, current technology has removed the physical impediments from auction to exchange to settlement.

We now know that a ‘short’ lockdown will not crash property sales.

The technology is in place to view a property virtually but no doubt that won’t be good enough for a significant proportion of buyers. However, if it is good enough for a critical mass, the other buyers may just have to accept a virtual viewing or keep missing out altogether.