Underlying demand for housing remains strong despite the pandemic, says AVJennings Managing Director and CEO Peter Summers.

The national housing developer had expected a strong 12 months to June, but land sales dropped back from March when Covid-19 struck.

Before March, sales momentum had been “fairly strong” after recovering from the earlier impact of the bush res, Summers says.

Following a low uptake of fewer than 60 contracts in each of March and April, AVJennings signed 80 contracts in May and 100 in June. As a result, the developer entered the current financial year with 385 contracts on hand – on par with a year ago – with a further 76 sales recorded in July.

“The HomeBuilder scheme hasn’t created demand but it has underpinned and motivated buyers to move forward with their purchases,” Summers says. “The housing market is all about confidence. Price moderation and stimulus provided the opportunity for first-home buyers, who tend to act quickly.”

Summers says the second lockdown in Victoria has not had a huge impact on demand.