THE Milton/Ulladulla area is a great place to be in and many people want to live in the region.
The district, for many years, has a strong and vibrant real estate market, but like all other business sectors, has had to deal with COVID-19 restrictions.
The Milton Ulladulla Times recently contacted a number of our local agents to see how they were handling the COVID-19 situation.
For Rhonda Finlayson, principal and licensee in charge of Bella Coastal Property, facing COVID-19 is about doing the right thing.
Real estate agents, like many other local businesses, are trying to face what are extraordinary times and Mrs Finlayson said above all what they are trying to do is to be responsible.
Mrs Finlayson said they had cancelled all their holiday bookings for April.
"The owners have been understanding about this decision. It's all about being responsible and trying to do the right thing," she stressed.
Mrs Finlayson hopes all sectors of the community follow the regulations, like non-essential travel bans.
She is positive there will be better days ahead.
"We as a community will bounce back for sure," she said.
Things are not as busy as the boom times but interest remains steady.
"We had a few people still looking," she said.
They have adapted to the open house inspection ban.
Inspections can still take place but with restrictions.
"It's up to the vendor if they want to allow inspections or not and we allow one person at a time through," Mrs Finlayson said.
She added precautions, like hand-sanitising, took place.
While it remains too early to say what the end result COVID-19 will have on the local real estate industry, Alan Wealleans, business owner of Harcourts Ulladulla, remains positive for the future.
"Markets go up and markets do down - they always have," he said.
Mr Wealleans said people still remained interested in the Ulladulla and district real estate market.
"The interest had dropped off but it has not completely gone away," he said.
"Things are okay at the moment and people still need to buy and sell properties."
The Harcourts team also follows all the recently introduced federal government regulations and conducts private inspections only.
Harcourts only conducts property inspection if it's their vendor's wishes.
Mr Wealleans said virtual tours were another way for people to insect properties.
All Harcourts' upcoming holiday rentals have also been cancelled in line with the self-isolation and travel ban requirements.
Adapting with the times is one of the ways co-principal of Raine and Horne Mollymook/Milton Ben Pryde said they were handling the COVID-19 situation.
He said they have strategies in place which evolves on a daily basis.
Mr Pryde, like many others, knows the health of the community has to be everyone's number one priority.
"I am not too concerned about the tighter real estate regulations, however, the quicker the crisis improves the better it will be for our local market. At this point in time we just need everyone to be safe," he said.
"Most of our holiday lettings have been cancelled and some of our tenants are doing it tough due to job losses which also impacts our landlords."
Mr Pryde remains confident about the future.
"From a sales point of view, the market has decelerated since a very strong sales month in February where we achieved a sale a day but there is still buyer activity," he said.
"Interestingly, we have a captive online audience with everyone currently working from home, so the online enquiries and phone enquiries are still flowing in.
"Once things improve from a health point of view, we expect the market to recover reasonably quickly."
He said the auction ban was not an issue for them.
"It [the auction ban] has had very little impact - we sell far more properties (more than 98 per cent) via private treaty rather than auction," he said.
"We have a couple of properties amidst the auction process that is now in a holding pattern.
"We have the option of online auctions or properties that are being auctioned can also be sold via private treaty prior to the auction itself."
Raine and Horne Mollymook/Milton are adapting to the restrictions around open house inspections.
"We do sell some properties via open for inspection but, by far, the majority of our sales occur by private inspection," Mr Pryde said.
"These changes would have a far greater impact on the city real estate market as opposed to regional areas.
"Almost all of the properties we currently have for sale are available to inspect by appointment and this way we can also comply with stricter health measures and also better qualify our buyers prior to an inspection being confirmed."