Private house inspections and onsite auctions are back for areas outside metropolitan Melbourne and Shepparton council region.
Up to 10 people plus an agent are now allowed at inspections and a maximum 10 people permitted to attend onsite auctions.
“We are all excited and ready to go, with a jam-packed three days ahead already filled with appointments,” Mr Forbes said.
More than five groups plan to visit properties each in Huntly, Junortoun and Kangaroo Flat.
The properties include a four-bedroom house at 84 Greene Street, Huntly, priced at $590,000-$630,000, and a luxury five-bedroom showpiece at 34 Domenica Drive, Junortoun, on the market for $1.2 million.
A three-bedroom house at 51 Wesley Street, Kangaroo Flat, priced at $390,000-$420,000, will also be open for inspection by appointment.
The minute this property hit the market, it attracted 35 enquiries and three offers sight unseen, according to Mr Forbes.
Onsite inspections would still be held to allow other buyers a chance to view it, he added.
Meanwhile, eight homes sold sight unseen during the latest two-week lockdown, including a four-bedroom house at 2 Alana Court, Marong, which was priced at $500,000-$550,000.
Advertised on social media, the property drew 20 enquiries and four offers from buyers who had never seen it in person.
“It was only on Facebook for 24 hours and sold to a local first-home buyer for $560,000,” Mr Forbes said.
Also sold sight unseen, a three-bedroom period home at 189 High Street, Kangaroo Flat, was snapped up by an out-of-area buyer for $430,000 or $20,000 above the owner’s expectations.
“This house was on the market for only two days,” Mr Forbes said. “On average, properties are being sold within seven days.”
While local enquiries remain strong, there has been rising interest from out-of-area buyers drawn to Bendigo’s country lifestyle, affordability and value for money.
“People are paying a third of the price for the same type of property here than they would have to pay in Melbourne,” Mr Forbes said.
The easing of lockdown restrictions has come at the peak of the spring selling season when more listings are expected to come on the market.
“This is perfect timing as it is a great time to sell,” Mr Forbes said.
Due to the soaring demand and lack of supply of properties in the region, prices are on the rise.
“In some areas, we’ve seen a 20-30 per cent hike in prices,” Mr Forbes said. “Kangaroo Flat and Junortoun are hotspots because properties there are reasonably cheap.”
The median house price in Bendigo grew 22.9 percent from $435,000 in August last year to $535,000 in July, while in Kangaroo Flat the median price jumped 14.3 per cent from $363,000 to $415,000, according to realestate.com.au.