Recent lockdowns in some states and territories have made it difficult for potential home buyers to sell digitally this spring.

According to REA Group, there are a record number of emails requesting information from real-estate agents. This number increased by 12.2% in August.

Three types of property saw an increase in inquiries. They rose by 14.5% for houses and 9.3% for units. There was also 6.4% vacant land.

Both houses and units reached new heights this month.

A revival is happening for investors and first-home buyers

REA Group data showed that first-homebuyers and investors are also showing increased interest.

Both of these groups saw an increase in buyer inquiries in the last month. Investors had their inquiries rise by 17.1% while first-home buyers experienced a surge of 31.5%.

This was due in part to a general decrease in buyer inquiries volumes, which dropped 21.6% over one month.

Despite the decline in buyer inquiries, buyers showed interest with views per listing on reaching an all-time high.

Over the last year, 46.7% more people have viewed each listing.

Cameron Kusher, director of economic research at REA, stated that the increase in income was evident in all states except Victoria and ACT.

“It is possible that this demand will not be relieved while seller confidence returns to normal in ACT NSW, Victoria,” Mr Kusher said.

Limited housing stock, lockdowns across several states and territories, as well as a shortage of inventory make it difficult for buyers to make tough decisions.

Potential buyers in South Australia and Victoria were the most active property-searchers throughout the month.

Kusher believes prices will rise due to the continual decline in market supply as well as general increases in interest across all states.

Digital spring selling season

Commonwealth Bank also released a report showing a similar trend in buyers using online tools more often.

According to the report, 90% of CBA’s property transactions are now settled online.

DigiDocs has seen a dramatic rise in usage since July 2020 when they were replaced by paper contracts.

The report indicated that 370,000 CBA customers checked their home loan balances and interacted with NetBank’s “Manage My Loan” section.

These customers use digital tools on average 26 times per month. This represents a 13% increase in usage over last year.

Michael Baumann, CBA’s executive general manager for home buying, said that the digital mortgage splitting tool has received a lot of interest. More than 5,000 people have used this tool to fix, split or change their home loans.

Baumann explained how restrictions on movement and face-to face meetings, COVID-19 among other factors, have led to policy changes within government processes. This has made home-buying easier and more digital.

CBA recently added the Home Buying Hub function to the CommBank mobile app. This feature provides customers with a guideline on how to digitally manage their home-buying process.

Since its inception, the feature has been used by more than 3,000 people. One in five customers has engaged with the service multiple times.

Dr Baumann said that the digital trend would gain popularity this spring despite rising affordability concerns due to recent price rises.

“As we enter the spring buying season, there are affordability challenges for first homebuyers, however, availability of spots via government homebuyer schemes will alleviate some of this stress.”